A new study published recently in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability has flipped the usual script on the effects of livestock production on health and environment:
In the face of reports about the ills livestock generate for the climate, environment and health, a new study … emphasizes that livestock production in developing and developed countries are very different animals.
While rising consumption of meat, milk and eggs is one of the factors in epidemics of obesity and heart disease in developed countries, consumption of meat and milk in developing countries is associated with good rather than bad health. In poor countries, where most people subsist on poor starchy diets, the study highlights the fact that modest amounts of these foods improve people’s nutrition and health, lower mortality rates, and enhance child development.
The entire article is really worth a read. It continues on to explore the “meat divide” that exists between developing and developed nations – i.e., gross disparities in the levels of consumption and, by extension, the challenges that those consumptions level have on production and on the environment.