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Eating less beef can save lives and help climate, Lancet says

Reducing heart attacks and curbing global temperature rises.
Image: Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg

Getting more people around to world to cut down on eating beef could save lives by reducing heart attacks and curbing global temperature rises, according to The Lancet medical journal.

Just as they were caught off guard by the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare systems around the world are ill prepared to cope with the worst impacts of climate change, including heat-related illnesses, the journal’s annual Countdown on Health and Climate Change report concluded.

One of the most effective ways to tackle emissions, they said, is reducing red meat consumption. Food production is responsible for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, most of which come from meat and dairy livestock. The report said per-capita emissions from beef consumption rose 5.5% from 2000 to 2017.

The authors identified a 54% rise in heat-related deaths in older people in the last 20 years, and a record 2.9 billion additional days of heatwave exposure affecting those over 65 in 2019 — almost twice the previous high. They also found that deaths from excess red meat consumption have risen 70% in the last three decades, with the majority of the almost 1 million annual deaths occurring in Western Pacific regions such as China, Korea and Australia.

“It’s really important that we’re taking into account the production and consumption of emissions, in the same way we do for other sectors,” said Ian Hamilton, executive director of the Lancet Countdown, a study that looks at a wide range of issues linking climate change and health. “The outsourcing of emissions to other countries to those who buy them in, and then the risks around that in terms of diet change.”

Plant-based diets have been on the rise in many western countries in recent years for both environmental and health reasons. That’s prompted companies like Unilever Plc to offer more meat and dairy alternatives to customers. While there has been an overall improvement in dietary risk factors in Europe, in part because of the growing popularity of veganism, the region is still responsible for 3.4% of all deaths from red meat consumption, the report said.

The research paper is a collaboration between experts from more than 35 institutions including the World Health Organisation and World Bank, led by University College London. It includes analysis of the climate-change impacts on health and health services, which founds that no country is immune from the impacts — regardless of its wealth. Only half of countries surveyed said they have national health and climate plans.

Rising temperatures are already affecting productivity, particularly for those who work outdoors in developing regions. The research found 302 billion hours of work was lost, of which 40% was in India. Heat and drought are also increasing exposure to wildfires, with the US seeing one of the largest increases.

“Climate change drives a cruel wedge which widens existing health inequalities between and within countries,” said Hugh Montgomery, Lancet Countdown co-chair and an intensive care doctor who is based at University College London. “Just as for Covid-19, older people are particularly vulnerable. Those with a range of pre-existing conditions including asthma and diabetes are at even greater risk.”

© 2020 Bloomberg

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Blah blah blah

Exactly .What rubbish.

And now imagine:

how many other “not so obvious” other DANGEROUS rubbish gets published in “prestigious” academical journals!!!

Academia currently is a farce!

Is this epidemiology which you can make any correlation to suit you bias. Don’t we eat less meat. But don’t look at all the sugary, seed oil ,refined carbs. Smoking, and processed food that has increased. Yes consume more human processed foods to survive

We have to force ourselves, against our wills, to consume beef. Farmers are the best nature conservationists. Farmers enjoy an economic incentive to protect and nurture all species if they are allowed to sell those animals to hunters or consumers. When the ignorant lawmaker removes the client, the hunter, the consumer from the equation, the farmer has zero incentive to spend money to keep animals alive.

The rhino is a liability for a farmer because CITES used the ban on the trade of rhino horn to turn an asset into a liability. CITES cannot save the rhino. Only consumers of rhino products can save the rhino if the farmer is allowed to profit from it. CITES ensures that the rhino will become extinct.

If we love cattle, we have to motivate farmers to save the species.

As the article says beef reduces life expectancy, which is probably the best thing we can do for climate change. In fact if we care about the climate we should probably be doing whatever will remove humanity from the planet as quickly as possible. A million or 3 years later all will be great.

So for the climate we should be doing more of what reduces our life expectancy. If we keep doing things that are healthy for us, it is by definition bad for the environment

Agree with the need to curb global warming, but to stop eating red meat (beef) will also mean no milk and no more of all the lovely cheese!

I agree that we have to curb global warming, but if nobody eats red meet (beef) there will be very little cattle and dairy products will be too expensive. Therefore no more milk and those lovely cheeses? I certainly hope not!

Can Lancet please supply any scientific study proving their point? Trust me, there are none, whatsoever. This article is completely stripped from the truth.

Vegans suffer disproportionately from weaker bones, resulting in higher incidence of serious fractures over time to those that consume red meat

Before human population covering the continents, massive herds in the millions of antelope, bison and other wild animals covered the world.

They would have contributed as much if not more to greenhouse gasses than beef today.

What this article proofs beyond any doubt is that the global warming bunch and the corvid-? scare enthusiasts are the same pathetic uneducated group trying their best to get their principals pushed down the throats of ignorant people in order to make themselves feel important. That’s why I propose a “send these activists to hell” policy and thereby make the world a more pleasant place to live in.

End of comments.

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