There is a way to eat meat — and stay environmentally friendly — thanks to initiatives like Slow Meat.
Around 60 billion animals, without taking fish and other marine animals into account, are farmed and slaughtered every year to satisfy our need for meat. And this is a number set to double during the course of this century.
At Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto held in Turin last month, the production and consumption of meat became a central talking point. Slow Food, an influential eco-gastronomic movement that focuses on strengthening community, biodiversity and tradition though food, has been running Slow Meat for two years now.
Serena Milano, General Secretary of the Slow Food Foundation of Biodiversity is concerned about rapidly-rising meat consumption. “It’s simply unsustainable,” she shrugs.
However, Slow Food’s answer is not to stop eating meat – and for a good reason. “We are promoting less, not none. Slow Food has been working for 30 years with local cultures and economies. If you propose a complete vegan or vegetarian diet, then lots of food cultures won’t survive” said Milano.
Serena urges people to ask questions about where their meat is coming from and asks for a narrative label.
She says Slow Meat is also linked to animal welfare. “When you reduce consumption, you reduce the number of animals. And when you reduce the number of animals, their quality of life improves.”