According to Dutch News, the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure is urging people to move toward a healthier and more sustainable food system by eating more vegan food.
The council says that about 60 years ago the ratio of meat to plant-based protein in the average diet was 50:50, but as more people adopted a meat-heavy Western diet, the ratio shifted to 70:30. The council recommends that by 2030, people should be consuming 60 percent plant-based protein.
The council suggests that the government consider taxing meat to reduce consumption. Additionally, it recommends that the government lower the amount of meat advised for a healthy diet.
Council member Krijn Poppe told Dutch public radio:
Television cooks and cooking sections in magazines are good ways to make the consumer more aware by presenting new ways of eating.
Eating more vegan food is a great way to combat climate change. In fact, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization states that carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.
A 2015 report by U.K.-based think tank Chatham House found that by cutting back on meat and switching to a plant-based diet, we could keep the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The report also suggested that governments lead the way by encouraging people to reduce their consumption of animal products.
There is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
But a vegan diet isn’t just good for the planet—it also spares countless animals a lifetime of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals raised for food suffer horrible abuse: extreme confinement; brutal mutilations; and bloody, violent deaths.