Sustainable Consumption

Biodiversity and Sustainable
Meat Production and
Danielle Nierenberg
Worldwatch Institute
Green Week
Brussels, Belgium
June 2010
[email protected]
Roadmap for Environmentally
Sustainable Meat Production and
• Better Grazing Management
• Protecting Pastoralists’
• Reduced and Refined
• More Investment in MixedCrop Livestock Systems
Red Fulani cattle are indigenous to West and Central Africa
(Photo Credit: ILRI)
Environmentally Sustainable
Meat Production
• Less Corn and Soybeans,
More Grass
• Rotational Grazing
• Traditional Practices
• Zero Grazing
Boy Herding Cattle in Nigeria (Photo Credit: World Bank)
Grass-fed and Rotational
• Grass farming helps
preserve native
grasses, particularly in
Herding Livestock in Columbia (Photo Credit: World Bank)
• Pastures can act as
carbon sinks,
sequestering carbon in
Rotational Grazing:
Preserves Biodiversity
• A 4,800 hectare U.S.
ranch using rotational
grazing practices tripled
the perennial species in
the rangelands, while
also nearly tripling beef
production from 66kg to
171 kg per hectare.
Sharpe’s Longclaw, from the grasslands outside of Nairobi,
Kenya are now endangered (Photo Credit: 10,000 Birds)
Combining Traditional and
Modern Grazing Practices
Institute herd treating degraded area
(Photo Credit: Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute)
Herd grazing on grass with full summer recovery
(Photo Credit: Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute)
Fatima Addy, leader of Aboomo Women’s Group in
Ghana (Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)
Heifer International beneficiary, Madame Helen in
Rwanda (Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)
Livestock Diversity
• Unlike animals in CAFOS,
or factory farms, grass-fed
animals tend to be more
genetically diverse.
• Prevents the spread of
diseases: H1N1, Avian
Flu, Nipah Virus
• Healthier Animals
• Better adapted to heat
and drought
Ankole Cattle, disappearing from Eastern and Central Africa
(Photo Credit: ILRI)
Conserving Biodiversity:
The Grasscutter
• Grasscutter
– Slash and Burn Agriculture
– Endangered
• NAGRAFA breeds and
raises grasscutters
– Delicacy
– Expanding business and
bringing jobs to the
Grasscutter at NAGRAFA in Ghana
(Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack
Preserving Biodiversity by Protecting
Livestock Keepers Rights
Samburu pastoralist discussing problems his community faces, including
adapting to climate change and modernization (Photo Credit: Bernard
Importance of Indigenous
Bred to resist disease or survive
hot climates
Indigenous breeds will help with
climate change adaptation
In danger of disappearing:
Lulu Cattle – adapted to extreme
environments, highly disease
resistant and very productive
Criolla Mora Sheep – used for meat
and wool and resistant to
endoparasite infestation.
Criolla Sheep from Columbia are in danger of disappearing
(Photo Credit: ILRI)
Preserving Traditional Breeds:
• Governments and
Agribusiness are
promoting crossbreeding
• Pastoralists are the best
keepers of genetic
Samburu pastoralists struggle for survival against governmental
policies and drought (Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)
Preserving Traditional Breeds:
Boy herds cattle at a GTZ project in Aksum, Ethiopia
(Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)
– “Bridge the gap
between policy-makers
and pastoralists”
– Policy reform to keep
pastoralists on land and
conserve indigenous
Preserving Traditional Breeds:
South Africa
• Enaleni Farms
• Raising endangered
Zulu sheep and Nguni
• Helping to create a DNA
“hoof print” for Zulu
Zulu sheep are endangered, indigenous to South Africa
(Photo Credit: Enaleni Farms)
Sustainable Meat, Egg, and
Dairy Consumption
• A 2007 article in the
Lancet calls on wealthy
consumers to drop their
meat consumption to 90
grams per day to help
prevent both hunger and
protect the environment.
(Photo Credit: USDA)
Sustainable Consumption
• Worldwide, 42 kg of meat consumed per person
• In Belgium per capita meat consumption is 82 kg.
Sustainable Consumption
• Heritage Foods
– Grass-fed, humanely raised pigs, chickens,
turkeys, and lambs to US consumers
– Preserves heritage breeds of livestock
• Niman Ranch
– Distributes humanely-raised meat products
– Free of antibiotics and growth promoters
Sustainable Consumption
Germany’s food guide pyramid emphasizes lowering saturated-fat
intake by eating fewer animal products.
Sustainable Consumption
• In 2009, city of Ghent, Belgium began
promoting meatless Thursdays.
– Printing 90,000 “veggie street maps” so that people can find the
vegetarian restaurants.
City of Ghent, Belgium (Photo Credit: Telegraph)
Sustainable Consumption
Johns Hopkins started “Meatless Mondays” campaign in 2003. It
increased in popularity in 2009.
Goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15%
Receiving more support and press than ever
Star Chef Mario Batali, who redefined the way Americans eat pork, is joining the Meatless
Monday campaign. His 14 restaurants will feature two vegetarian dishes on Mondays.
Paul McCartney, rock star and well known vegetarian, banned all meat from staff meals on his
world tour.
(Photo Credit: Meatless Monday)
Investing in Small-Scale Mixed
Crop Livestock Systems
"Smallholder farmers have always shown amazing ability to adapt to
changing conditions," says Carlos Sere, Director General of ILRI. "With
the right kinds of support, these traditional mixed farming systems can
be modified to become pathways out of economic and environmental
Boy herding sheep in Kenya (Photo Credit: World Bank)
[email protected]
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