A new interview on CNN explored the impact of meat production on the environment and public health
Article by Jemima Webber
13th June 2021
Multinational news-based television channel CNN recently aired a segment called ‘How Meat Is Making the Planet Sick’. The program discussed the public health and climate risks associated with meat production. CNN has more than one million primetime viewers.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria spoke to New York Times columnist Ezra Klein about the ‘tremendous consequences’ of meat production. Zakaria clarified that while he’s not a vegetarian ‘yet’, he’s actively cutting down his meat intake.
He said: “People are seeing the light, as I have, that eating animal products can not only be bad for you, it can be bad for the planet.”
Eighty billion land animals are slaughtered every year for meat. Zakaria pointed out that half of all habitable land on Earth is used for agriculture. Most of that is used for animal agriculture, such as raising livestock or growing crops for livestock consumption.
The land required to produce the amount of meat eaten globally leads to mass deforestation. As well as displacing wildlife, deforestation leads to an increase of carbon in our atmosphere. High populations of cows increase greenhouse gas levels further.
Zakaria and Klein agreed the most effective thing an individual can do to reduce climate risk is to eat less meat.
Klein, who is a vegan, commented: “People like meat, I like meat. I’m not here to tell anybody it’s not delicious. But what it is doing to the planet, what it is doing to the animals and what it is doing to our own pandemic and antibiotic risk is something that should worry all of us”.