De hoge kosten van goedkoop vlees

BERLIJN – De fabrieksmatige veefokkerij is een cruciale kracht achter de industrialisering van de landbouw. De meedogenloze expansie van deze sector draagt bij aan de klimaatverandering, de ontbossing, het verlies aan biodiversiteit en schendingen van de mensenrechten – en dat alles om de ongezonde honger naar goedkoop vlees van de westerse samenlevingen te bevredigen.

Europa en de Verenigde Staten waren in de twintigste eeuw de grootste vleesconsumenten. De gemiddelde inwoner van de westerse landen at jaarlijks zestig tot negentig kilo vlees, veel meer dan nodig is om de menselijke voedselbehoefte te dekken. Hoewel de westerse consumptiepercentages nu stagneren en in sommige regio's zelfs dalen, blijven ze veel hoger dan in de meeste andere regio's in de wereld.

Bovendien veranderen de leden van de uitdijende middenklasse van de opkomende economieën – vooral die van de zogenaamde BRICS (Brazilië, Rusland, India, China en Zuid-Afrika) – hun dieet, zodat dit steeds meer op dat van de rijke landen gaat lijken. De komende decennia zal de vraag naar vlees en zuivelproducten stijgen als de inkomens omhoog blijven gaan.

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