A landmark report has been officially supported by the British Departments of Health as well as Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the United Nations World Health Organization, and others.
Published in the esteemed medical journal, The Lancet, the report advises that both meat production and consumption be reduced by one-third, as the only way to meet the country’s ambitious carbon emission reduction goals. Furthermore, citizens would be more than compensated by direct and favorable effects on health. Dr. Alan Dangour - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK: The policy is reduced production, because our primary aim is to reduce carbon emissions, and we’re saying, in our series of papers, look at the health co-benefits. I think it is important for people to become much more aware about the true carbon costs of food production. Meat and meat products and dairy have an enormous carbon cost.
Today, the climate savings of plant-based eating are abundantly known, such as findings that a vegetarian diet saves more greenhouse gases than a hybrid car, or that an animal-free vegan diet reduces emissions by 94% compared to one with meat-based fare.
Regarding health savings, co-author Dr. Alan Dangour of the UK’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stated that these could be even greater than the 18,000 lives forecast to be saved from heart disease alone if other meat-related diseases, such as colorectal cancer and obesity, were included. The hope is that knowing the true health costs will prompt the public to voluntarily shift away from harmful animal products. Dr. Alan Dangour: That information and the knowledge of the risks of climate change combined should allow them to make decisions about their future consumption patterns.
Our thanks Dr. Dangour and all researchers involved, as well as the British and United Nations officials who are prudently weighing the climate costs of livestock raising and meat consumption. May we all choose the plant-based diet to save our lives and the planet. In addressing the impacts of meat on all areas of our lives, Supreme Master Ching Hai has for decades urged the remedy of the vegan diet as in a May 2008 videoconference in South Korea.