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UK environmental activist urges ‘shutting down animal farming altogether’ because ‘it’s one of the greatest causes of climate breakdown’

On Ireland state-run TV – RTE – Prime Time program – July 19, 2022 – Miriam O’Callaghan

Rough Transcript:

RTE Host Miriam O’Callaghan: George has a big emphasis on agriculture and how agriculture needs to cut its emissions. And I know it’s an issue you feel very strongly about. You’ve said that agriculture is arguably the most destructive industry on Earth. Explain and do you still believe that George?

British environmental activist George Monbiot: “It’s by far and away the greatest cause of habitat destruction, the greatest cause of wildlife loss, the greatest cause of extinction, greatest cause of soil loss, greatest source of fresh water use. It’s one of the greatest causes of climate breakdown, bigger than transport. One of the primary causes of water pollution and of air pollution. So it’s right at the top. Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to say land use, the biggest issue of all it’s by far and away the greatest form of land use that humans inflict on the planet which means all that land is land. which can’t be used for wild ecosystems.

And well, obviously, we need farming, we need to minimize those impacts. We need to act as drastically within that sector as any other sector to prevent the collapse of our life support systems and what that means, above all else, is getting out of livestock farming is really shutting down animal farming altogether, because that has massively disproportionate impacts on the living planet, and we need to switch towards other sources of food plant-based diets which are far more efficient, far lower environmental impacts. But also switch out of farming altogether to produce protein-rich foods, which we can do through precision fermentation – brewing microbes.

RTE Host Miriam O’Callaghan: I can hear farmers all over the small country of ours, shocked and perhaps screaming at their televisions because they say are you saying all animal farming in your opinion, really needs to stop?

Monbiot: Yes, it does. It really does. It’s a bit like leaving fossil fuels in the ground unless we do that. We’ve really got very little chance indeed of preventing this domino effect of system collapse right across systems which basically makes the planet uninhabitable. So eating meat and milk and eggs is an indulgence we cannot afford.”



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