1932

Abstract

Meat has become a controversial topic in public debates, as it involves multiple sustainability dimensions. Here, we review global meat consumption trends and the various sustainability dimensions involved, including economic, social, environmental, health, and animal welfare issues. Meat has much larger environmental and climate footprints than plant-based foods and can also be associated with negative health effects. Technological options can help to increase the sustainability of meat production, but changes in consumption are required as well. At least in high-income countries, where people consume a lot of meat on average, notable reductions will be important. However, vegetarian lifestyles for all would not necessarily be the best option. Especially in low-income countries, nutritious plant-based foods are not available or affordable year-round. Also, livestock production is an important source of income for many poor households. More research is needed on how to promote technological and behavioral changes while managing sustainability trade-offs.

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2022-10-05
2024-04-15
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