In order to meet the extreme goals of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “Net Zero” agenda, the public to stop consuming meat and dairy products before the year 2030, a new study is warning.
The authors of the study are calling for meat products to be covered in warning labels to warn consumers that they are “destroying the planet” if they eat traditionally farmed foods.
According to the study from Durham University (DU) in the U.K., using graphic warning labels on meat products akin to the ones on cigarettes could help people reduce their consumption of meat and help them make “smarter choices” about not just their health but that of “the planet” as well.
Published in Appetite, the results of the randomized experimental study suggested that graphic warnings about associated health issues could reduce meat meal selections by seven to 10 percent.
According to the Guardian, 72 percent of the British population classify themselves as meat eaters.
It is a change that could have a material impact on the future of the planet, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which advises the British government.
The body recommends that the U.K. cut its meat consumption by 20 percent by 2050 and by half come 2050 to meet its so-called “net zero” goals.
“It becomes clear that there are multiple reasons why the current way that we eat meat is maybe not the best way to do it – when you combine that [CCC advice] with the fact that high meat intake is linked to lots of health issues and the way that we currently farm or certainly some of the most common ways of farming, which are also very heavily linked to the potential of pandemic outbreaks,” said doctoral candidate Jack Hughes, who led the Durham study.
How the study was done
In the study, Hughes and his colleagues from DU’s Department of Psychology assessed the impact of pictorial warning labels that were designed based on the results of a pilot online cafeteria study that tested a variety of textual messages and images about health, climate change, and pandemic consequences associated with meat consumption.
The researchers recruited a sample of 1001 meat-eating adults from an existing panel through the Prolific survey platform.
The participants were split into one of four experimental groups using a 1:1:1:1 ratio.
Each group was shown images of hot meat meals, which contained either a climate warning label, a health warning label or pandemic warning label, or no label at all and asked to make 20 individual decisions regarding different meat meal choices.
Researchers also assessed the participants’ responses about:
- Their current levels of meat consumption, willingness and intentions to reduce meat consumption
- How anxiety-provoking and believable they found the photos with warning labels
- How supportive they would be if the different types of graphic warning labels were to be implemented as policy (since public support can be crucial for policy implementation and maintenance)
- Their future intentions to buy and eat the meat meal options
What the study found
Researchers said their findings suggested that warning labels focusing on meat’s impact on the planet could be the “most suitable” for a public awareness campaign, said Hughes.
“Reaching net zero is a priority for the nation and the planet.
“As warning labels have already been shown to reduce smoking as well as the drinking of sugary drinks and alcohol, using a warning label on meat-containing products could help us achieve this if introduced as national policy.”
The Guardian reported that researchers believe their findings could help encourage changes in gastronomic choices that could ultimately benefit the environment.