Current meat consumption in kg per capita in 2017
Beef and veal: 10,9
Our current meat habits are no longer sustainable. The expected population growth in the EU will be 16 million people higher 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 778.557 cows, 2.1 million sheep, 7.8 million pigs, and 128 million chickens.
For adequate freedom of movement, the additional livestock would require an area almost the size of Latvia. When it comes to emissions – a staggering 10 million tonnes of extra CO2 emissions per year compared to today. This is just in the EU, but globally, an area twice the size of India is estimated to be required for the additional need of livestock.
Last, but not least, the EU would be responsible for an increase in water demand of nearly 8.000 million cubic meters 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?