Meat: A threat to our planet? – 58 minutes that will put you off your steak

If you have ever wondered why climate activists are fiercely advocating cutting down meat consumption, but fail to see the connection between the mouth-watering bacon in the Sunday roast and global warming, then this is the documentary for you.

But don’t be put off from watching it if you are not vegan or vegetarian. The film does not delve into the morality of eating animals but rather reveals what their consumption is doing to the world, which means there is something for everyone in it.

However, you might be shocked to find out the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than the running of all our transport combined. Liz Bonnin, the wildlife biologist who presented the BBC documentary and is a meat-eater herself, was definitely appalled.

“We consume 65 billion animals annually,” she declared at the outset, as if implying from the very beginning that our hunger for meat is more than our planet could sustain. To connect the dots between climate change and your steak, the documentary maker spilt the relentless truth that the burps from a single cow heat the planet as much as burning around 600 litres of petrol over the course of a year. You can multiply this by 1.5bn (the number of cows on earth) and figure out that nothing good comes out of consumption that vast.

According to the programme, we consume 65 billion animals annually

But maybe you are still not convinced and need to see Bonnin tear up after discovering cattle-rearing is the main driver of deforestation in the Amazon? Or perhaps you wait for her to declare we are raiding the seas for fish to feed livestock, leaving African penguins hungry and therefore on the verge of extinction?  We are threatening the world’s biodiversity, so that we could fatten up the livestock, which later turns out to be our hamburger. Ironic, isn’t it?

The facts were strong enough to speak for themselves, so I think Bonnin could have spared us the exaggerating comments about how “shell-shocked” or “sick to her stomach” she felt. The presenter even declared she gave up red meat and reduced her overall animal consumption. But if she’s not prepared to turn back on meat completely, why should we feel encouraged to ditch bacon?

Nevertheless, BBC managed to produce a thought-provoking movie that finally made the connection between steaks and global warming. Meat could be the greatest threat to our planet after all and this documentary might be the wake-up call we all needed.


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