EU reluctant to reduce meat in diet: report

Brussels, Sep 7 (EFE).- Europe as a whole is resisting the transition away from meat-heavy diets despite the scientific consensus that cutting animal products is necessary to protect biodiversity and tackle the climate crisis.

The findings were set out in the 2021 Meat Atlas, a sweeping report on the industry drawn up by Friends of the Earth, the German Heinrich Böll Stiftung foundation (HBS) and the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation NGO, published Tuesday.

Christine Chemnitz of HBS told the press that, if left unchecked, meat production is expected to increase by 40 million tonnes per year to reach a total output of 366 million tonnes by 2029.

No country has a strategy in place to reduce these figures, she added.

“What we demand is that young Europeans should be heard with their demands, we need a clear strategy cutting industrial meat production and consumption at least by 50% in the coming years. It’s not about stopping eating meat, it’s about less and better,” she said in a video statement.

Younger people are more often willing to reduce meat consumption in their diets, bucking the general trend in Europe, the report said.

Painting a general picture of the EU, the report said Spain was the biggest consumer of meat, followed by Portugal and Germany. Slovakia and Bulgaria were at the opposite end of the scale.

Concrete data on veganism and vegetarianism in Europe is hard to come by, although both lifestyles appear to be rising in number.

To give an example, the report cited a study of 15 to 29-year-olds by the University of Göttingen, which found that some 10.4% of respondents were vegetarians and 2.3% were vegan. EFE


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