Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

Is Environmentally Sustainable Meat Possible?

By Ryan Katz-Rosene and Sarah J. Martin

Spring 2020 - Is Environmentally Sustainable Meat Possible?

 

 

The message to eat less meat, if successfully taken up by those in industrialized countries where per capita consumption is high, could reduce a portion of the ecological pressures from meat production. But “eat less meat,” on its own, does not really get to the heart of the matter, and the campaign could have unintended consequences. Namely, it could result in people merely eating less of what is still a polluting product (e.g., factory-farmed meat) or more of another (e.g., factory-farmed soy), all while justifying their continued detrimental consumption habits during the rest of the week on the false belief that they have “done their part” to protect the planet.


Ryan M. Katz-Rosene is Assistant Professor of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, president of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada, and an editor for Studies in Political Economy. His family operates a small-scale organic farm near Wakefield, Quebec.

Sarah J. Martin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Memorial University. Her past work as a cook, chef, and meat cutter led her to study political economies of food, agriculture, and environment.