Well-known British natural historian Sir David Attenborough has urged people to shun meat and go vegetarian to save the planet.
In a new documentary, A Life On Our Planet, the 94-year-old broadcaster said that cutting down on our meat consumption is important to save several species from extinction. “We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters,” he said in the introduction to the documentary.
Sir Attenborough raised alarm on fast degrading biodiversity and termed it “as the true tragedy of our times”.
Breeding animals for food directly results in deforestation, which in turn, threatens the survival of several wild species that are important for maintaining the food chain.
“Half of fertile land on Earth is now farmland, 70 per cent of birds are domestic, majority chickens. We are one-third of animals on Earth. This is now our planet run by – and for – humans. There’s little left for the world. We have completely destroyed it,” the 94-year-old warned.
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Sir David Attenborough said that climate change is real. Human excesses may result in rain forests turning into dry savannah and change the global water cycle forever, he warned.
“Our planet is headed for disaster. We need to learn how to work with nature rather than against it. Human beings have overrun the world.”
Sir Attenborough quit eating meat in 2017 and since then he has been advocating the need for the world to move away from meat-eating to save Earth’s biodiversity.
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The COVID pandemic, increasing awareness about climate change and the recent instance of bird flu have made many to consider switching to plant-based meals. In fact, the plant-based meat industry is finding resonance with reluctant meat-eaters and also vegetarians who are curious to try out animal-based food products.
The US market for “green meat” is already seeing an upward trajectory with established companies too investing in providing alternate source of protein which is climate-friendly, devoid of any health risks and easy on the pocket.