George Monbiot says he wants to see the “shutting down” of all animal agriculture for the sake of the planet.

George Monbiot, Guardian columnist, author and environmental activist, believes “we must end our dependence on farming if we are to overcome the realities of climate change”.

That is what he told Prime Time presenter, Miriam O’Callaghan, during his recent appearance on the RTÉ 1 show on July 19th, 2022. He said that agriculture is “by far the greatest cause” of habitat destruction, soil loss, extinction, freshwater use and one of the causes of climate “breakdown, bigger than transport” and air and water pollution.

“Land use is the biggest issue of all that humans inflict on the planet. All that land, therefore, cannot be used for wild ecosystems,” he said. “While obviously, we need farming, we need to minimise those impacts. We need to act as drastically within that sector as within any other sector to protect the collapse of our life support systems.”

“What that means above all else is getting out of livestock farming. Shutting down animal farming altogether because that has massively disproportional impacts on the living plant.”

Plant-based diets

Moreover, he stated that we need to switch to other food sources, plant-based diets, which are “far more efficient and have far lower environmental impacts”.

“Also, we need to switch out of farming altogether to produce protein-rich foods, which we can do through precision fermentation microbes. All types of animal farming needs to stop. It is a bit like leaving fossil fuels in the ground.” Unless we do that, we have very little chance indeed of preventing this domino effect of systems collapse, which basically makes the planet uninhabitable.”

“Eating meat, milk, and eggs is an indulgence we cannot afford,” he concluded.

When the presenter asked him to confirm if he previously said that “agriculture is arguably the most destructive industry on earth”, to which he agreed.

Most recently, in a post on his TikTok account, he stated that “we should shut down livestock farming” and “this is an emergency, so we must treat it as such”.

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