Should we stop eating meat for the environment?

Several forms of pollution - e.g. deforestation, eutrophication of water, leaching of nitrates, antibacterial resistance, release of ammonia, nitrous oxides and methane in the atmosphere - are associated to livestock production. Should we stop eating meat to prevent major environmental pollution?

Yes - We should all stop eating meat

Not consuming meat is the only way to prevent an ecological catastrophe

Livestock causes irreversible water eutrophication

Livestock production has been identified as the major source of land-based nutrient pollution. Pollution from livestock has caused massive algae blooms, that, in turn, kill fishes and aquatic flora.

Livestock production causes antibiotic resistant bacteria

Livestock are protected and healed from diseases by means of an extensive use of antibiotics. This practice may however cause the birth of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Additionally, livestock may be given antibiotics regularly for growth promotion under the guise of "disease prevention," due to a loophole in the FDA's 2017 restriction on antibiotic use.

Livestock releases polluting gases

Livestock natural production of polluting gases is highly significant as well as not treated adequately

Large-scale livestock raising leads to deforestation

Deforestation caused by cattle raising leads to the release of CO2 by trees and the destruction of animal habitat.

No - The consumption of livestock products should be diminished but not eliminated

The negative environmental impacts of meat-based and dairy products can be reduced by decreasing their consumption to a sustainable level

It is impossible for everyone to stop eating meat

In some parts of the world, meat and fish consumption are a means of survival.

No - livestock production is not a truly significant cause of pollution

The putative environmental benefits associated to ending meat and dairy consumption are not significative when compared to other forms of pollution such as the one from the transportation or the chemical processing sectors

Eating meat is natural

Humans have always eaten meat, and should thus continue to do so.

Companies should change, not individuals

It shouldn't be up to the individuals to change their lifestyle but rather big companies that cause vast amounts of pollution should be held accountable.

No - It is hard to maintain a nutritious diet

Meat contains important nutrients such as Vitamin B6 and B12 that are more difficult to obtain when eating plant-based, especially for those who lack time and resources for getting supplements or specific groceries.

Meat-free diets require supplements

Vegetarians often have to rely on supplements to stay healthy because it is harder to get all of the required vitamins and nutrients from a meat free diet.

Meat-free diets are not necessarily nutritious

Cutting out meat is only the first step in a vegetarian diet. What you choose to eat instead of meat is equally important, and avoiding meat may just lead to a less nutritious diet. Don't forget, Oreo's are vegan!

Meat is the best source of protein

It is harder to meet your protein needs while eating a vegetarian diet. Meat, on the other hand, offers the necessary protein intake from a single source.
Explore this question in a whole new way.
This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jan 2020 at 14:35 UTC