Should the consumption of farmed animal products be restricted, and if so, by how much?
Recent studies have proposed that the consumption of farmed animal products must be curtailed to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This paper argues that a careful assessment of the different emissions produced by different actual and potential diets is needed to evaluate whether or not restricting the consumption of farmed animal products could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and if so, by how much. It is also argued that the question of whether or not the consumption of farmed animal products should be restricted must be addressed in the light of information derived from various sustainability indicators, rather than on the basis of a narrow focus on greenhouse gas emissions. A case study from the UK is used to develop a broader understanding of how dietary modifications might reduce a range of problems associated with the consumption of farmed animal products. It is argued that even more comprehensive studies of the different Global Health Impacts (GHIs) are needed to assess the merits and demerits associated with the consumption of farmed animal products.
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