31st January 2011
Comment on Livewell Report released by WWF (January 31) from vegetarian campaigning group, Viva!
It is to be applauded that the WWF have produced a diet which suggests it is necessary to slash meat consumption by an enormous 700 per cent to help reduce greenhouse emissions. A cut in consumption from 79kg per person to 10kg will greatly reduce the impact that livestock have on the planet but it will still not be sufficient for the government to meet its target for greenhouse gas reduction by 2050 (according to Cranfield University).
Other of the diets recommendations fall far short of what is required and ignore pressing human and ecological needs. To advocating the continuation of fish eating, for example, is deeply disturbing when fish stocks are in constant decline and many of the oceans ecosystems are facing destruction. The science now clearly shows that all oily fish are polluted with deadly chemicals such as PCBs, dioxin and mercury and make no contribution to good health.
The authors should also re-examine how much dairy produce they suggest people eat as it appears in most meals yet numerous studies link it to certain cancers and other degenerative diseases. The authors partly acknowledge the damage done by dairy in recommending the use of spread instead of butter but still promote dairy milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream. This is both inconsistent and illogical.
They also ignore the fact that dairy cattle are every bit as damaging to the environment as beef cattle and while recommending a dramatic reduction in beef cattle are complacent about the number of dairy cows. Again this is illogical and inconsistent and simply appears to substitute one animal product for another. Of the 14 lunch and dinner recipes only one contains no animal products. Recommending chicken, which is high in carcinogens when cooked and contains a pint of fat (one standard bird) is also highly suspect, as is recommending white bread.
The most effective diet for anyone serious about curbing global warming and reducing instances of killer diseases is a vegan one and the closer the WWF gets to that the greater will be its impact. It still has a long way to go.
Viva! Associate Director, Tony Wardle