Red meat and the environment: The facts

Red meat is not only important for a balanced diet - it has an important role in balanced, natural farming, too.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about sustainable food and the impact eating red meat has on the environment.

Here are some useful, fact-based messages to help you have positive, engaging conversations about agriculture, red meat and the environment.

How keeping livestock helps the land

Without livestock, the landscape would change significantly, as we reported in the Landscapes without Livestock project.

This visualised the impacts of a reduction in beef and sheep farming on some of England's most cherished landscapes over a 30-year period. You can explore one example with the image slider above.

Here are a few more facts about the environmental benefits of keeping livestock:

  • The UK is one of the most sustainable places in the world to produce beef and lamb. This is thanks to our climate and geography

  • Grazing ruminants actually help manage permanent pasture as an effective carbon sink

  • Grazing cattle and sheep aid biodiversity and managing our unique countryside

  • Without grazing ruminants, more than 60% of agricultural land in the UK would be taken out of food production, because it is not suitable for cropping.


Download these shareable graphics to help spread positive messages about red meat and the environment on social media. Simply click the download link and right-click the image when it opens in another tab. You can then save it to your device.