Show simple item record

Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption

dc.contributor.authorMachovina, B.
dc.contributor.authorFeeley, K.J.
dc.contributor.authorRipple, W. J.
dc.descriptionThe consumption of animal-sourced food products by humans is one of themost powerful negative forces affect-; ing the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and biological diversity. Livestock production is the single largest; driver of habitat loss, and both livestock and feedstock production are increasing in developing tropical countries; where themajority of biological diversity resides. Bushmeat consumption inAfrica and southeasternAsia, aswell; as the high growth-rate of per capita livestock consumption in China are of special concern. The projected land; base required by 2050 to support livestock production in several megadiverse countries exceeds 30–50% of; their current agricultural areas. Livestock production is also a leading cause of climate change, soil loss, water; and nutrient pollution, and decreases of apex predators andwild herbivores, compounding pressures on ecosys-; tems and biodiversity. It is possible to greatly reduce the impacts of animal product consumption by humans on; natural ecosystems and biodiversity while meeting nutritional needs of people, including the projected 2–3 bil-; lion people to be added to human population.Wesuggest that impacts can be remediated through several solu-; tions: (1) reducing demand for animal-based food products and increasing proportions of plant-based foods in; diets, the latter ideally to a global average of 90% of food consumed; (2) replacing ecologically-inefficient rumi-; nants (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep) and bushmeat with monogastrics (e.g. poultry, pigs), integrated aquaculture,; and other more-efficient protein sources; and (3) reintegrating livestock production away from single-; product, intensive, fossil-fuel based systems into diverse, coupled systems designed more closely around the structure and functions of ecosystems that conserve energyand nutrients. Such effortswould alsoimpart positive; impacts on human health through reduction of diseases of nutritional extravagance.
dc.relation.ispartofScience of The Total Environment
dc.relation.haspart(Machovina et al. 2015)
dc.relation.isreferencedbyGEO 6 Europe Suppl Ref
dc.subjectBiodiversity loss
dc.subjectMeat consumption
dc.subjectClimate change
dc.titleBiodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption
dc.title.alternativeScience of The Total Environment
dc.typeJournal Article

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • GEO Citations

    Official collection of references for the GEO publications

Show simple item record