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Environmental Values

Meat and Global Warming: Impact Models, Mitigation Approaches and Ethical Aspects

Anders Nordgren

Environmental Values 21 (2012): 437-457. doi: 10.3197/096327112X13466893628067


In this paper, I investigate the ethical problem of mitigation of climate change, to the extent this change is caused by animal production. First, I give an overview of various views of the nature and scale of the impact of animal production on climate change: the life cycle model, the complex impact model and the additional emissions model. Second, I analyse various approaches to mitigation of climate change to the extent it is caused by animal production, such as different technological solutions and more or less radical proposals for reduction of livestock numbers. Third, I carry out a preliminary investigation of ethical aspects to be taken into consideration in assessing the mitigation approaches: intergenerational justice, intragenerational justice, animal welfare, potential, and feasibility. Finally, I propose a kind of ‘contraction and convergence’ policy, i.e., a policy of reducing meat consumption to a certain level in developed countries while allowing people in developing countries to increase their consumption up to this level.


Climate change, meat, mitigation, ethics, policy

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption. Stephen M. Gardiner

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Response and Responsibility. Clive L. Spash

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