State Government Urged To Act On Emissions From Livestock Sector

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22nd October 2009, 09:00am - Views: 565

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Global Emissions from Livestock Sector over 50%

Vegetarian Network Victoria calls on the State Government to include dietary change as solution

to alleviate climate change

It is imperative that the Victorian Government include

dietary change as part of the solution to fight

climate change and to save our precious water resources, says Vegetarian Network Victoria

spokesperson Paul Mahony.

“According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, even the majority of environmentalists and

environmental policy makers have failed to appreciate the truly enormous impact of the livestock sector

on climate, biodiversity and water”, said Mr Mahony.

VNV recently submitted a paper in response to the State government’s invitation for public feedback in

relation to its Climate Change Green Paper, and

is urging it to immediately act meaningfully on climate

change for the sake of all planetary life. This includes acknowledging the major role of animal agriculture

in worsening climate change, as well as its other detrimental effects on our natural resources. 

In Australia, livestock produce more CO2-equivalent emissions than all our coal-fired power stations

combined.¹ Further to that,


study published in the November/December 2009 issue of World Watch


concludes that the livestock sector

is responsible for more than

half of


greenhouse gas emissions globally.

“Governments worldwide can no longer ignore the devastating


consequences of the livestock

sector”, said Mr Mahony.

When it comes to our water resources, direct water consumption for Victorian households only

represents around 8% of the State's total water consumption. Animal agriculture is responsible for a

staggering 51%, whilst dairy farming alone accounts for 34%.



states,”Subjects such as diet must not be regarded as taboo

…. We can no longer 

regard  food  choices  as  being  personal when  the  impacts  of  these  choices  have  far reaching

consequences for our natural resources and climate change.” 

VNV strongly recommends that the State government implement a pricing scheme to reflect the real cost

of meat and dairy, and to inform the public of the environmental benefits of an animal-free diet. 

If the Victorian Government is willing to conduct public campaigns about adopting other beneficial

practices in regard to energy and water use, then it should also be willing to do the same in regard to

dietary choices.

For more information, contact:  Paul Mahony: or 0402 942 756

Mark Doneddu: or 0448 712 063




Brook, Prof. Barry and Russell, Geoff, “Meat’s Carbon Hoofprint”, Australasian Science, Nov/Dec 2007, pp. 37-39,

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