Current meat consumption in kg per capita in 2016

Beef and veal: 11,1

Pork: 32.3

Poultry: 23.9

Sheep: 1.9

Total: 69.2

Source: OECD

Our current meat habits are no longer sustainable. The expected population growth in the EU will be 18.8 million people by 2050. If we were to keep eating meat at the same levels as we do today, a significant amount of resources and land would be required. The increase in emissions caused would also impair the efforts of the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If the average meat consumption per person continues at current levels, we would at that time per year need an additional 761.780 cows, 9.565.016 pigs, 149.807.494 chickens, and 1.429.126 sheep.

For adequate freedom of movement, the additional livestock would require an area the size of Latvia at 63,000 square kilometers. When it comes to emissions – a staggering 12 million tonnes of extra CO2 emissions per year compared to today. This is the same as the annual emissions coming from – Latvia, again.

Last, but not least, the EU would be responsible for an increase in water demand of 9 trillion litres per year compared to today. That’s enough to cover for the total annual water withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

Perhaps it’s time reconsider our eating habits?