Isn’t it hypocritical to assist the animal agriculture industry given its impact on the environment?
Yes and no.
Veterinarians are responsible for the welfare of Livestock, Pets and Wildlife.
Research shows animal agriculture accounts for 13% of Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, and while this is a significant figure, it is clearly not the sole contributor to climate change. In addition, much of the land currently used for sheep and cattle is not suitable for crop production, and agricultural animals frequently consume hardier cellulose fibres which are not part of the crop destined for human consumption. Meat is a significant part of the diet of many Australians, and helps meet the protein, macro- and micro-nutrient needs of the world’s population.
Ultimately we don’t believe it is VfCA’s place to campaign for veganism or influence the public consumption of animal based foods. However we are passionate about working with farmers to assist them towards the decarbonisation of their industry. As an example, we are ideally placed to understand and advocate for diet supplements which result in lower methane emissions from cattle (link). Regenerative agriculture is key to our future, through its power to improve resilience of the land, leading to more sustainable and effective use of natural resources.
We believe there is scope for this industry to reduce its carbon footprint, and we look forward to working with all parties in achieving this.