Reading Time: 2 minutes Despite vast growth in the plant-based sector, DeSmog claims figures are indicating the world is far from reaching 'peak meat' Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The meat industry across the globe is mimicking tobacco company tactics in order to dodge climate change blame, according to a major investigation.

Award-winning environmental organization DeSmog is behind the research.

Meat industry

It involved a five-month investigation into the industry’s public relations and lobbying techniques. This included reviewing hundreds of documents amongst some of the largest companies, such as JBS and Tyson Foods.

According to the findings, the animal agriculture sector is portraying itself ‘a climate leader through the following tactics:

  • Minimizing the environmental impact of farming animals
  • ‘Casting doubt’ on the efficiency of plant-based meat alternatives
  • Promoting meat health ‘benefits’

Moreover, big animal agriculture players are even painting meat as the answer to climate change, the study claims.

JBS told DeSmog: “As a leading global food company, we recognize the importance of reducing our environmental impact to combat climate change.”

‘Peak meat’

Despite vast growth in the plant-based sector, DeSmog claims figures are indicating the world is far from reaching ‘peak meat’. This means they predict the global meat production to rise over the next decade.

Kristine Clement, of Greenpeace Denmark, told the organization that meat companies are ‘ramping up’ marketing efforts to make products appear climate-friendly.

This is, Clement claims because they fear politicians will halt the ‘endless’ production.

Tobacco tactics

In building on the report, an environmental studies Professor told The Independent these tactics are similar to the tobacco industry.

Dr. Jennifer Jacquet said: “Tobacco didn’t challenge the existence of lung cancer, but they kept denying and deflecting the causal link [with smoking]. 

“And that’s what we’re seeing with beef and dairy.”

Evidence is stacked against the meat industry on its effect on the environment

Climate change

Despite the meat industry’s tries, the evidence attesting the opposite is overwhelming.

Reports indicate animal agriculture is in fact responsible for a staggering 87 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, companies are tightening their grips onto their financial clutch on the global food system.

For example, an industry group in South America recently revealed plants to defend animal agriculture ahead of a UN summit. This includes Brazil, the world’s biggest beef exporter.

You can view DeSmog’s full investigation here

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.