No, not at all. Red meat (or any meat) is not bad for the environment in itself. The problem is in the way that meat is farmed and packaged and distributed. However, many people eat much more meat than they even need for nourishment, which creates a massive demand. This demand creates the need for more animals, which requires more land for animal grazing and feeding. This is where animal farms came from, which have become increasingly more crowded and inhumane. The distribution also requires a large amount of fuel for transportation across large expanses. So it really depends on the processes; these need to be executed sustainably. However, land for animal use is in competition with agricultural and residential land due to growing population. This is why it is important to reduce meat consumption, in order to allow meat production and distribution to be carried out sustainably and environmentally friendly.
Red meat is not bad for the environment; the animals that red meat comes from are. I’m not saying cows are bad for the environment though, how they are raised and forced to live (specifically on factory farms) is. By being fed “food” with hormones in it, the cows are creating more waste, which in turn is producing more emissions. Also, by forcing the animals to live in such confined and unsanitary conditions, factory-farmers are forced to use more antibiotics and pesticides which is terrible for the environment. The less red meat (or any meat for that matter) the better for the environment it is.
Naturally it will always depend on the production process, as the mcoffey and rchlths noted. However, there are certain things about red meat that do make it inherently less sustainable than, say, chicken. There is a concept called “ecological efficiency” which describes how efficiently an organism can convert energy from food into stored energy (in this case, as meat). In this sense, chicken, fish and pork are more sustainable than beef and lamb because it takes less fossil energy to produce 1 kg of chicken than it does to produce 1 kg of beef. However, there are variations which can occur as a result of production differences. For example, grass-fed beef may be more sustainable than farmed salmon.
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