Man made forest fires to clear land for cattle or crops

Climate on the Menu

How Reducing Meat and Dairy Can Save Our Planet


Wildfires, droughts and flooding

Halfway through 2023 and the reality of the climate crisis is more visible than ever with hot temperatures beating on people, the planet and animals. A massive heatwave Cerberus is currently causing potential record-breaking temperatures in Southern Europe.1 June 2023 has been the hottest in our planet’s recorded history.2 Sea temperatures are rising at an unprecedented rate, fueling the already developing warm El Nino phase in regions around the Pacific.3 Floods devastated the US state Vermont after extreme rainfall.4 The wildfires in Canada have destroyed 9 million hectares of forests, which equals the size of Austria.5 And scientists recently warned that global heating is happening much faster than earlier expected.6 It is clear now more than ever that immediate climate action is paramount to protect people, animals and (life-supporting) ecosystems.  

Our future is (also) defined by the food we produce and eat. Animal agriculture accounts for one of the dominant drivers of the climate crisis. Specifically, factory farming and the overconsumption of meat and dairy must be halted. But not only for the environment: it would also improve the lives of over 60 billion farm animals that are suffering on factory farms every single day. 

FOUR PAWS compared the current meat consumption in countries across the globe, to the scientifically renowned ‘Planetary Health diet’ recommendation. Factory-farmed cheap meat encourages over-consumption at rates dangerous for the health of the planet and of individuals. The conclusion is that consumption of meat should be decreased by 70 per cent in Europe and more than 80 per cent in the US and Australia to remain within the boundaries of our planet.7 

Urge the food industry to take action

Dairy cows being milked

Reducing meat and dairy would reduce the emissions of the very climate-harming greenhouse gas methane. This gas, originating from the digestion of cows and other ruminants and their manure, has a relatively short lifespan in the earth´s atmosphere. Therefore, reducing methane can drastically slow down this unfolding crisis. An end to factory farming is also needed to combat deforestation and allow nature to restore, which is integral to the planet's ability to cool itself. 

Although the science is clear about the need for more sustainable diets, governments and industry are carelessly doing too little. This needs to change to keep the world a healthy and thriving place to live – for both humans and animals. 


1 Cerberus heatwave | [accessed 14 July 2023]. 
2 World Meterological Organization | [accessed 2023 July 14].
3 In Hot Water |  [accessed 14 July 2023].
4 Climate Change and Floods | [accessed 14 July 2023].
5 Canada Faces Long, Tough Summer of Wildfires | [accessed 14 July 2023].
6 Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions at All-time High | [accessed 14 July 2023].
7 FOUR PAWS Meat Exhaustion Day Report | [accessed 2023 July 14].
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Stop Factory Farming

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