The meat industry giants argued that some members in their summit group were trying “to further an ideological anti-livestock stance,” and also threatened to stage a walk out in protest.
A coalition of meat industry giants have lobbyied the UN to support global meat consumption and promote intensive livestock farming before an upcoming hi-profile summit on food sustainability.
The UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS) is scheduled for 23 September in New York.
Banding itself as a transformational “people’s summit”, ensuing discussions at the conference are expected to shape global governmental policies to make agricultural systems more sustainable, and influence upcoming agreements on climate change and biodiversity around the world.
Pro-meat lobby threatens to walk out
However, documents leaked to environmental NGO Greenpeace reveal that livestock industry associations threatened to withdraw from the summit if their cluster – a working group set up to recommend policies for the summit – did not agree on a pro-meat goal.
In preparation for the summit, the sustainable livestock solutions cluster – which included a group of industry associations such as the International Meat Secretariat and International Poultry Council – prepared a draft position paper calling for the UN to support increased meat consumption worldwide.
The paper argued: “Innovative methods in livestock can also address climate change both in mitigation and adaptation […] Livestock will provide solutions also for the challenges of today.”
Around the same time, as the livestock group submitted its draft paper, 11 new members were added to the cluster. They included environmental scientists and a farm animal welfare NGO.
This move triggered a rift between the original and new members after they clashed on a conference call meant to negotiate a new draft.
Subsequently, the pro-meat group forwarded a letter to the UN complaining that the new members were trying “to further an ideological anti-livestock stance” and threatened to pull out of the summit in protest.
The pro-meat members warned: “We cannot continue to devote time to a process in which it is clear that we are only there to lend a veneer of inclusivity while in reality some cluster leaders are pursuing their own ideological agenda.”
This comes after several studies spotlight that livestock are responsible for at least 14% of global emissions.
A new study published last week found that the production of meat is responsible for nearly 60% of global food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
‘Power dynamics in the food system‘
Hsin Huang is the secretary general international meat secretariat. He told Unearthed (the investigative branch of Greenpeace): “I find it laughable that we could be seen to be lobbying the UN FSS [Food Systems Summit]. We have been knocking hard on the door of the UN FSS since February, when we sent a letter, asking to constructively participate in writing the narrative on the role of livestock in sustainable production systems.
“Our criticism of the UN FSS is that it is not inclusive and we, the livestock sector, have been seen as the problem.”
On the other hand, Matthew Hayek, assistant professor of environmental studies at New York University, told the non-profit the UN FSS should not have given “incumbent industries a platform to deny or minimise the scientific consensus”.
Finally, the cluster presented three position papers to the summit of which only one points out the drawbacks of factory farming. It states: “A significant reduction in global consumption of meat and dairy is needed… to meet the Paris climate targets.”
Michael Fakhri, UN special rapporteur on the right to food told Unearthed: “What appears to have happened in its livestock strand is a microcosm of the tension at the heart of the food systems summit.
“Here was an opportunity to have a frank and difficult and public conversation about power dynamics in the food system, but the summit has failed to create a space to actually interrogate what the root causes of its problems are. I fear the outcomes will disappoint.”
Share this story: Meat industry pushes UN to support more meat production.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
Vegan Nottingham student creates budget-friendly oat milk machine to reduce carbon footprint and combat rising prices
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 30th May 2023
The invention is sustainable and cost-effective. A vegan undergraduate studying product design at Nottingham Trent University has developed a container that can help people create their own oat milk at home for just 20 pence per litre. “Oatilicious,” provides significant cost savings compared to store-bought oat milk for up to £2.20 per carton. The innovative …
Continue reading “Vegan Nottingham student creates budget-friendly oat milk machine to reduce carbon footprint and combat rising prices”
Bear Grylls ’embarrassed’ by past vegan diet promotes meat, blood, and bone marrow for better health
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 15th May 2023
“I’ve tried to listen to my body more, tried to listen to nature, and I don’t miss vegetables at all. I don’t go near them, and I’ve never felt stronger, my skin’s never been better, and my gut’s never been better.” Adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls has become a die-hard carnivore fan after admitting …
Continue reading “Bear Grylls ’embarrassed’ by past vegan diet promotes meat, blood, and bone marrow for better health”
NEED A LAUGH?
All the quizzes you love to binge!
QUIZ: If you score 11/12 on this quiz, you’re a verified vegan food expert
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
Continue reading “QUIZ: If you score 11/12 on this quiz, you’re a verified vegan food expert”
QUIZ: What is your perfect Vegan Halloween Costume?
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
Continue reading “QUIZ: What is your perfect Vegan Halloween Costume?”
QUIZ: What kind of vegetable are you?
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …