Many of our protein sources cause an elevated climate burden, and there is a risk that the animals aren’t being treated well. However, there are many good alternatives, both for those who love fish and those who prefer meat.
Fish and seafood
Millions of people work in the fishing industry – in addition to fishing, there are jobs in processing, packaging, transportation, retail sales and restaurants. The demand for fish and seafood is constantly rising, particularly in rich countries.
Global fish and seafood consumption rose 21 per cent between 1992 and 2002. The catch levels for wild fish and wild seafood, however, have remained at essentially the same levels since the mid-1990s, amounting to nearly 90-93 million tonnes a year (source: MSC). And this does not only apply to fish and seafood. Fish is an ingredient in animal feed, dietary supplements, fishmeal and many other products that are manufactured on a global scale.
Unfortunately, global fish and seafood consumption has caused extensive environmental destruction and the exploitation of oceans and seas, to the point were certain species have been made extinct, and caused serious ecological consequences. The ecosystem is being impoverished and may ultimately lose its ability to produce ecological services essential to life, services that jeopardise the careers of the hundreds of millions of people that depend on fish and other oceanic resources to survive. Examples of valuable ecosystems that are currently being threatened by human exploitation are shallow offshore banks, coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests (source: WWF).
In the production of meat-based food, another key aspect is animal husbandry and the animal-protection considerations that are taken during their raising, transportation to slaughter and in the method of slaughter. Animal husbandry is governed by the laws and regulations of each country, but also the industries’ own voluntary agreements and existing certification systems. This means that animal-protection considerations that may vary among countries, also vary sharply within the countries depending on the sector and production methods.
Sweden’s overall annual greenhouse gas emissions equal about 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, of which agriculture accounts for about 14 million tonnes.