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Do you think eating less meat will save the planet?

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David Gregory | 17:57 UK time, Monday, 26 July 2010

Cow weaing a methane sniffing backpackThose that want to save the planet make strenuous efforts to get us to use our cars less and take fewer foreign holidays. Which is odd as it looks like it's what you eat, not what you drive, that has the biggest impact on the environment.

So do you think eating less meat will save the planet? Well you might like some facts to consider first. There's a massive United Nations report here. And an extremely good New Scientist article here which comes to the conclusion an outright conversion to a vegetarian or vegan way off life isn't the answer.

"Given the deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that will result if worldwide meat production continues to rise, some people are already choosing to eat less meat. And the message is definitely less, not none. For best results, meat should be medium-rare."

There's no doubt cattle in particular have a huge impact on our environment. But they are also very effective at turning scrubby land that's not always suitable for crops into a source of valuable protein.

So what do you think?

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