Give Us the Meat
China's soaring meat consumption spells trouble.
Since 1980, overall meat consumption in China has quadrupled. And in 2007 alone, the country raised half a billion pigs to serve its pork-loving populace. What do the figures mean for a country already groaning under the weight of environmental affliction?
The non-profit organisation Brighter Green has a message – that world’s most populous nation is facing serious threats to its environment and national health. What was once a luxury food reserved only for festivals and special occasions has become a daily part of the Chinese diet, thanks to rising incomes and industrialised farming practices.
“Even though China is not yet a fully fledged ‘factory farm nation’,” the organisation explains, “the…burgeoning appetite for animal-based protein [is] showing – in massive water pollution, soil degradation, rising rates of obesity and chronic disease, risks to food security and food safety, pressure on small farmers, and declining farm animal welfare.”