A MULTI-FAITH NETWORK
COMMITTED TO ACTION
ON CLIMATE CHANGE

ARRCC writes to Climate and Health Alliance about meat consumption

ARRCC responds to the Climate and Health Alliance - calling on them to include a reduction in meat consumption in their asks and communications.

ARRCC responds to the Climate and Health Alliance - calling on them to include a reduction in meat consumption in their asks and communications.


ARRCC recently recieved a media release from the Climate and Health Alliance, titled 'Health must be at the heart of the global climate talks' (you can read the release here). The Release talks about the need to consider health when talking of climate change, and raises the issue of equity between developed and developing countries. Despire high meat consumption being both a health issue in developed countries, and an equity between developed and developing counries because of its upward pressure on basic foodprices, this did not receive a mention in the material.

ARRCC therefore sent the following email to the Climate and Health Alliance, asking them to consider the issue for future communications.

 

Fiona Armstrong
CAHA Convenor
convenor@caha.org.au

29th November 2011

Dear Fiona,

The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) strongly agrees with your call that "Health must be at the heart of the global climate talks in Durban" and strongly supports your effort. However, at ARRCC we believe that one of the key "solutions that promote greater health as well as equity between and within nations" is a reduction in meat consumption by the developed world.

As you may know, meat consumption in the western world is many times more than what is required in a healthy diet and there are lots of health problems due that are attributed to high meat consumption. Also the consumption of meat is increasing rapidly worldwide and as per UN FAO report "Livestock's Long Shadow" animal-farming contributes more green-house gases (in CO2 equivalents) than all of the cars, trucks and other forms of transportation worldwide (18% vs 13.5%). The same report projects that the number of farmed animals will double in next 50 years. If that happens, increased greenhouse gas emissions from "livestock" agriculture would negate the reductions from many other positive changes, such as increasing automobile fuel efficiencies, switching to renewable energy resources etc. Further the high consumption of meat by the developed world puts strong pressure on food prices for people in developing countries because of the large demand for grain to feed animals. Meat consumption is therefore also a direct equity issue, as well as a contributor to climate change.

ARRCC therefore believes that it is absolutely necessary that this aspect of the problem is addressed but unfortunately it does not get much attention. (Though Al Gore has been trying to raise the issue (see attached). We in ARRCC have a campaign to reduce meat consumption by promoting "Meat-free Day" one day per week to reduce meat consumption (see www.arrcc.org.au/eat-less-meat ).

We would therefore very strongly urge you to include reduction in meat consumption as a part of the solution to address the global climate issues at the summit and in all your communications regarding the summit.

Kind regards,

Vijai Singhal

Executive Member of ARRCC and
Convenor of Meat-Free Day working group.

Director, Hindu Council of Australia