On a global scale, meat consumption continues to rise: It has multiplied by almost five over the past 60 years, growing from 71 million tonnes in 1961 to 339 million tonnes in 2021, according to statistics from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This production has massive consequences for climate change: The livestock sector is responsible for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions derived from human activities and half of the emissions of the agricultural sector worldwide.
In France, a mere quarter of the population describes itself as flexitarian, eating meat only occasionally, while 2.2 percent describes itself as vegetarian.
Agricultural economist Carine Barbier, a researcher for the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and The International Research Centre on Environment and Development (CIRED) explained, “It’s the principal cause of dietary-related greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, the whole food industry already represents 25 percent of French emissions, this includes the entire process, from the production to our plates as well as imports. Animal farming alone represents 9 percent of total emissions.”