In a recent press release, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation made a gutsy move in admitting what we all already know: meat stinks for the environment. They say: "if we are to avoid a food and environmental crisis, we must improve the efficiency of grain use for meat production or simply eat less of all types of meat."
Perhaps they read the UN's Livestock's Long Shadow report which reveals that meat production is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world's planes, trains, and automobiles combined!
Despite this momentary glimpse of clarity, ACMF attempts to suggest that the solution is not to save the planet (and our struggling health system) by adopting a healthier, vegetarian diet—but to eat more birds! Clearly one saturated-fat-laden-chicken-wing-too-many has clogged vital blood vessels to the brain of the exec who thought up that brilliant idea.
While it might be true that raising pigs, cows and sheep are even worse for the planet than chickens, the poultry industry is still responsible for massive amounts of damaging pollution that is wreaking havoc on the environment. Incidentally, a key reason for the difference between the ecological footprint of raising chickens and other animals is that Australia's meat chickens have been bred to grow so unnaturally fast that they are just 6-week-old babies—many of which suffer heart conditions and lameness—when they are killed for their flesh. This cruel system is something the chicken industry likes to euphemistically call 'food conversion efficiency'.
So, as the Australian Chicken Meat Federation says, eat less of all types of meat. But really, when it's so easy to save 100 lives every year, why not dump meat all together?