The importance of protecting and enhancing natural capital is essential for future generations. The farming of livestock has a vital role to play in this, as does traditional integrated land management, as Isabella Tree explains in this opinion piece.
While veganism is often perceived as a panacea to global climate issues, sustainable food production has to be the long term goal for all and soil health is a resource that cannot be underestimated in that regard. In turn, livestock farming is integral to soil health.
The debate rages on, but perhaps there's another way of saving the world to consider: encouraging sustainable forms of meat and dairy production based on traditional rotational systems, permanent pasture and conservation grazing.
There’s no question we should all be eating far less meat, and calls for an end to high-carbon, polluting, unethical, intensive forms of grain-fed meat production are commendable. But if your concerns as a vegan are the environment, animal welfare and your own health, then it’s no longer possible to pretend that these are all met simply by giving up meat and dairy. Counterintuitive as it may seem, adding the occasional organic, pasture-fed steak to your diet could be the right way to square the circle.