Spain’s consumer affairs minister, Alberto Garzón, has launched an appeal to Spaniards to reduce their meat consumption to benefit human health and the planet. In a video he has created, he points out that the 70m pigs, cows, sheep, goats, horses and birds consumed each year, contribute 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions and that 1 kg of beef requires 15,000 litres of water to produce.
Spain consumes more meat than any other EU country, but is suffering from rapid desertification. He suggests that people should reduce their meat consumption from 1kg per week to between 200g and 500g.
The campaign has not gone down well with Spain's meat industry and 6 big meat associations have written an open letter suggesting that he has "defamed" their industry, which is worth almost €9bn per year.
It should go without saying that the environmental, human and animal cost of Spain meat industry is a great deal more than €9bn.