Basing its demands on research undertaken at the UCL University Greenpeace favours drastic change to Belgian agriculture. The UCL report commissioned by Greenpeace shows that production of beef, pork, chicken and dairy are far in excess of our needs. Large scale production also impacts on our climate it argues.
Greenpeace claims that emissions linked to livestock herds are really double the official figures. To meet climate challenges the organisation argues that an 83% reduction in the Flemish cattle herd is needed by 2050. This would lead to a 60% decrease in emissions from the livestock.
Flanders’ main farmers' organisation Boerenbond is not amused and regrets Greenpeace is mainly focusing on the cattle herd without taking account of the economic impact.
Today the average Belgian aged 15 to 65 consumes 115 grams of meat a day, while health experts suggest no more than 57 grams a day is good for you. Greenpeace puts forward three scenarios based on reducing greenhouse gases and nitrogen gases. Under the most drastic proposal the cattle herd would be reduced by 83% leaving enough meat to provide 27 grams per Fleming per day. Greenpeace argues that human protein needs can be replenished from vegetable sources.