Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.
UN figures suggest that meat production is responsible for about 18 per cent of global carbon emissions, including the destruction of forest land for cattle ranching and the production of animal feeds such as soy.
Lord Stern believes that public attitude will evolve until meat-eating is unacceptable, saying “I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food”