The consequences if the world decided to go meat-free
If vegetarianism was adopted by everyone by 2050, the world would have about seven million fewer deaths every year – and veganism would bring that up to eight million.
Food-related emissions would drop by around 60%, according to Marco Springmann, a research fellow at the Oxford Martin School’s Future of Food programme. This would be down to getting rid of red meat – which come from methane-producing livestock – from people’s diets.
However, farmers in the developing world could really suffer. Arid and semi-arid rangeland can only be used to raise animals, such as the Sahel land strip in Africa next to the Sahara; nomadic groups that keep livestock there would be forced to settle permanently and lose their cultural identities if there was no more meat.
World Bank Photo Collection