As we were previously discussing our internal meat consumption metrics, we wanted both to congratulate and discuss Greenpeace’s announcement earlier this year about using meat consumption as a metric and their own target for 2050 in order to respect the Paris agreement of 1.5 degrees Celsius maximum. The Greenpeace target based on Roos et al. (2017) is too optimistic, here are the reason why
However the Greenpeace proposal for reduced consumption does not make mention of this. Therefore, the numbers presented in the paper for the emissions under that model cannot be used under a 50% reduction of all meat including poultry and eggs. Would the ratio of current meat and egg consumption be accounted for whatever could be produced under the Ecological Leftover scenario would be indubitably less then the papers original conclusion and therefore Greenpeace target of 16kg of meat per capita.
Pigs were chosen over poultry since they can digest most of the byproducts not suitable for ruminants; poultry depend more on cereals and can only digest a limited quantity of byproducts (McDonald et al., 2011). Hence, the use of cropland to produce feed is minimized
Therefore we view Greenpeace's target of
An estimated global consumption of 16 kg per capita per year. That relates to approximately 300 g per capita per week of all meat products (in carcass weight, meaning raw unprocessed products at the point of retail sale). Similarly, for dairy, the 50% reduction results in an estimated global consumption of dairy of 33 kg per capita per year in 2050, which results in 630 g per capita per week (a glass of milk is roughly 200 g).
As an upper bound if we ever want to achieve the Paris agreement of 1.5 Celsius limit increase. Not even including eggs this represent a reduction for Canadians in meat consumption of 84% by 2050. We will certainly not argue whether the reduction should be of 84%,89%,94%,98% or 100%. However, this should be clear to all interested in preventing climate change that at the very least a serious meat reduction is necessary to achieve those targets. We see no problem while we advocate for veganism to support, like we always did, those seeking to reduce their meat consumption. We applaud Greenpeace for realizing that without a serious reduction in meat reduction tackling climate change is not possible. We encourage other organizations interested in preventing climate change, and the mass extinction that we are currently heading towards, to join ourselves and Greenpeace in adopting at the very least strong meat reduction target. As we were already using meat consumption metrics internally to measure our progress we will continue to do so, the target of 16kg per capita translate to a Canadian reduction of meat consumption of 84% from 2017 levels by 2050.
However we would like all organizations who call on a serious reduction in meat consumption to reflect on the following: Adopting a vegan policy at the organizational level may be necessary. It seems logical that if we advocate for a consumption of 300 grams of meat per week, which is not only way less then people are now eating but even less then they eat in one sitting, it follows that most likely they would not use their allowance at a public event. Furthermore, in order to help everyone attaining those target it makes little sense to have a buffet with meat options where people can blow up their entire monthly intake in 1 meal. It seems essential to adopt a vegan policy at the organizational level when we advocate for such important reduction.
We will work together with all those interested in making this a reality. We have contacted Greenpeace so we can work together toward a 84% meat reduction in Canada by 2050 and 50% globally.