Meat-eating is a human rights issue, but also a sustainability issue
The most efficient meat is chicken, and it requires nine calories in the form of wheat or soy or whatever other crop you're feeding to the chicken to get one calorie back out. When we produce and eat chicken, we're effectively throwing away 800 percent of the food that's produced, because it takes nine calories in the form of bean crops to get one calorie back out. For pork, it's 15 calories in for one calorie back out. For beef it's 23 to 25 calories in for one calorie back out. This is an insane inefficient and wasteful system of food production.
800 million people living in nutritional deficit, which is a euphemism — they're starving. And a former UN special envoy on food, Jean Ziegler, said that the diversion of corn and wheat to bio-fuels is a human rights crime.
If you're taking that corn and wheat and turning it into bio-fuels, that creates a demand for corn and wheat and it drives up the price. The result is that people are priced out. We’re creating competition for that corn and wheat between people who are starving and our gas tanks. And yet we continue to use vast amounts of wheat and corn to feed chickens, pigs, and other farm animals. And of course we haven’t even mentioned soy, where more than 80 percent of the global soy crop is fed to farm animals. Rainforests are being decimated in order to graze animals and grow soy for export to be fed to farm animals.
It's a scientific impossibility that the 170 plus governments that have signed the Paris Agreement, which pledged to keep climate change to under 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, will meet that goal, unless animal product consumption goes down. Animal agriculture was found to be responsible for about 18 percent of global climate change, which is roughly 40 percent more than all of the airplanes, cars, trucks, and other forms of transport combined.