What is the greenwashing trick?
Big Livestock companies use their marketing, websites, and packaging to reinforce the idea that eating meat and dairy is traditional in many cultures and vital for humans.
But these companies fail to mention that at no time in human history have we produced and consumed meat and dairy in the quantities we do today. JBS, the world’s biggest meat company, slaughters a staggering 13 million animals every single day – and that’s just one meat producer.
The world currently produces far more meat than humans need to support their nutrition or to honour their traditions, and far more than the planet can safely or sustainably support.
How is this greenwashing trick being used?
The science is very clear that developed nations need to eat less meat, but this reality is often not presented accurately by the media. The resulting confusion is exploited by big meat companies, which argue that meat and dairy are essential to many meals and central to the cuisine of many cultures.
The reality is that the world’s current level of meat and dairy consumption has only recently become part of the culture in the global north; fifty years ago, meat was still a luxury product, eaten only once a week or on special occasions. The industry also uses this tactic to not only boost the demand for meat and dairy products in established markets, but to create demand in new countries and cultures.
Why is this bad for the climate crisis?
Big livestock companies have normalised high levels of meat consumption, making them seem inherent to many cultures. By using cultural arguments to justify the world’s rising demand for meat and dairy, the sector can justify its continued expansion and push into more and more countries – making their products seem like an inevitable part of any diet.