Eating meat is, unfortunately, a terribly unsustainable way to get sustenance. Livestock are responsible for huge amounts of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, they are relatively inefficient at converting food into body mass, and they use a huge amount of water and electricity to keep. Recent research suggests that if we continue our current meat-eating trends, carbon emissions may rise by up to 80%, a terrifying prospect! There are more eco-friendly alternatives, of course; I recently wrote on the topic of eating insects as a solution to global food security, and others have been 3D printing food. But one way or another, we must start eating fewer vertebrates.
Research from Cambridge and Aberdeen universities estimates greenhouse gases from food production will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate. That will make it harder to meet global targets on limiting emissions. The research highlights that more and more people from around the world are adopting American-style diets, leading to a sizeable increase in meat and dairy consumption. "The average efficiency of livestock converting plant feed to meat is less than 3%, and as we eat more meat, more arable cultivation is turned over to producing feedstock for animals that provide meat for humans.