An independent global review of the economics of biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, has highlighted the impact of an animal-protein heavy diet on our ecological footprint.
The review was commissioned by the UK Government and published in 2021. It was esta
blished to assess the economic benefits of biodiversity and the costs and risks of biodiversity loss, and to identify actions that could both enhance biodiversity and boost economic prosperity.
The review states that human prosperity “has come at a devastating cost to nature” and that “Food production is the most significant driver of terrestrial biodiversity loss.” It adds that production and consumption patterns “will need to be fundamentally restructured, partly by “aligning environmental objectives along entire global supply chains.”
Animal products such as meat usually have larger footprints than plant-based products, while for most foods, land-use change is the main generator of greenhouse gas emissions and cause of biodiversity loss on land.