I WAS much heartened by the news headline recently after the UN special report on Climate and Land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released on August 8.

I was pondering how the conclusions made impacts on the land use in this country.

More than 100 experts compiled the report half of whom were from developing countries so the conclusions they made are important for the future health of the whole planet. It’s not just about how much of the rainforest is being cut down, its about land use across the globe.

In this country much of the land is used to raise meat and dairy, and with the recent increase in veganism and non vegans shifting towards less meat in their diet, we have already had a significant impact on our farming industry.

As a result the industry has been forced to become more industrialised, more intensive rearing of cattle, resulting in cattle that are pushed beyond their limit on restricted supplies, poor diet in over crowded sheds to make the books balance.

As a result the cattle have suffered poor health and in this type of scenario they become very susceptible to TB, which is the farming nightmare that has been intensifying in recent years.

The co-chair of the IPCC working group on this report, Hans-Otto Portner, said following the publication: “It would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect.”

This is an opportunity for the land owners and businesses of the country (and indeed the NFU) to have a rethink about how they farm the land and our politicians to work together towards a new era in farming that needs to encompass a wider vision than the post-war monoculture thinking.

As the licences are issued to kill tens of thousands of badgers again this year who are being wrongly blamed for the poor health of cattle, how about spending that money on new food farming projects to enhance our biodiversity not cull it and in the process act to combat climate change?

A high vegetable diet which is alkaline is a healthy way to eat in any case.

Acid forming meat loaded with antibiotics, fed a monoculture of food laced with pesticides and fertilising compounds is something we should all be thinking about reducing our diet, to improve our health. As a result of the switch to more plant foods we will be doing our bit to save the planet as Hans-Otto Portner and his panel recommends.