Is our taste for Sunday roast killing the planet?

The Observer asks…

Is our taste for Sunday roast killing the planet?

A UN expert has blamed meat eaters for visiting environmental mayhem on the world as the demand for beef drives deforestation, water scarcity, air pollution and climate change. Science editor Robin McKie and Caroline Davies report

Your Sunday roast stands accused. According to the United Nation’s chief climate expert, Rajendra Pachauri, that tasty piece of top rump resting on your dining table is the source of many of the world’s environmental woes, in particular those involved in the dangerous warming of the planet’s climate.

Our appetite for animal flesh is boosting fertiliser production, pollution and emission of greenhouse gases to dangerous levels, Pachauri has told The Observer. Give up meat – at least for one day a week – and we can help to save the Earth, he added.

Nor is Pachauri, the chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, alone in his complaints. A host of campaigners have united to condemn meat-eaters for bringing environmental mayhem to the world. ‘The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilisation of communities and the spread of disease,’ the Worldwatch Institute has warned.

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