Reading Time: 2 minutes The beef industry is fighting against growing popularity for plant-based diets Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Beef production in the US is harmful to the environment. And, it should be replaced more often with plant-based alternatives, an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times read.

The journalist informed the news outlet’s readership of 1.3 million that switching to a more plant-based diet would make a ‘meaningful contribution’ to climate change.

Plant-based popularity

The article quoted research professor Gidon Eshel, who claimed more consumers are accepting plant-based alternatives.

This is in line with growing concerns for the environment, he said.

Eshel added: “If you want to make a simple change to your diet to protect the environment, there’s nothing you can do that comes anywhere close to forgoing beef.”

Americans are big beef consumers and that’s ‘not going to change any time soon’, the article continued. But, now that consumers bear witness to the climate crisis there is a ‘new urgency’ across the country.

Animal agriculture

The animal agriculture industry ‘appears to be trying to obfuscate’ the environmental impact of beef production, the article added.

A study backed by the US animal agriculture industry claimed otherwise. In it, consumers preferred animal produce over plant-based in economic terms.

The industry was ‘giving consumers permission to avoid dietary changes’. They do this by perceiving eating meat as not as serious as ‘pesky tree huggers might be saying’, the article claimed.

However, the article also included quotes from another researcher who claimed animal agriculture is not ‘the climate villain’ that most people think.

Other studies prove overwhelming evidence that animal agriculture is one of the leading producers of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change

“I won’t be a card-carrying vegan anytime soon.

“But, if replacing one burger a month with a plant-based alternative is all it takes to make a meaningful contribution to fighting climate change, yeah, I can do that.

“Besides, the way plant-based meat products have been steadily improving, it probably won’t be long before we can’t tell the difference anyhow”, the article concluded.

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.