Not sure if you want to go full vegan? You can still make a difference: Cut the beef!

Agriculture accounts for 15% of all global-warming emissions, around half of which come from livestock. Eating less meat is just one way we can all help to tackle climate change. But what if you love the environment but still enjoy the occasional cheeky visit to KFC? Maybe you want to reduce your meat consumption but you’re not sure where to start?

Cutting out beef from your diet is a great way to reduce the environmental impact livestock production has without the stress of committing to fully vegetarian or vegan diet. Beef has ten times the environmental costs of other livestock - some experts even claim that giving up beef has a greater impact than giving up your car! 

Farming beef results in five times more climate-warming emissions than pork or chicken, as well as using up eleven times more water and twenty-eight times more land. Beef is the main source of protein in the United States, and a hugely popular meat worldwide, but that popularity is having a seriously concerning environmental impact. But why is beef so bad?

Cattle conserve very little energy from what they eat, meaning they make far less efficient use of their feed. This is worse for grain-fed cattle, but even grass-fed beef has a greater environmental impact than other animal produce.

Researchers estimate that, in the US, over 60% of the environmental impact of livestock results from beef, and whilst this figure is likely lower for Europe (due to the larger consumption of dairy), the fact remains that removing beef from your diet will have a hugely positive environmental impact. 

So how can you cut the beef? Well there’s certainly an abundance of alternative meats and meat-substitutes out there. Swap beef mince for pork, opt for gammon or turkey for your Sunday roast, or why not get into the habit of Meat-free Mondays? The best part about cutting out beef from your diet is how easy it is!

So there you go; you don’t have to go full vegetarian or vegan to do your part for the planet, cutting out beef is an easy adjustment to make your diet more eco-friendly. 

Want to know more?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28409704

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth