Meat consumption and climate change: the role of non-governmental organizations
The contribution of livestock production to climate change is now widely acknowledged. Despite this, efforts to reduce meat consumption in light of climate change have been relatively limited. One potential avenue for encouraging consumption changes is via non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This study used a qualitative approach to understand how and to what extent environmental, food-focused, and animal protection NGOs in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden have worked to reduce or alter domestic meat consumption in light of climate change. While almost all of the NGOs examined had mentioned the issue on their websites, few had established formal campaigns to reduce meat consumption. Active public outreach was dominated by animal protection and food-focused groups, particularly in the U.S. and Canada. Animal protection organizations advocated for larger reductions in meat consumption than environmental groups. Few NGOs sought to promote national-level polices to reduce meat consumption. There is a continued need for public education campaigns with clear messages, particularly by environmental NGOs, as well as efforts to build support for policy measures that seek to reduce meat consumption.