Article from: Herald Sun, Australia
October 10, 2007 02:35pm
MORE kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming, environmental activists say.
The controversial call to cut down on beef and serve more of the national symbol on our dinner plates follows a report on curbing greenhouse gas emissions damaging the planet.
Greenpeace energy campaigner Mark Wakeham urged Aussies to substitute some red meat for roo to help reduce land clearing and the release of methane gas.
“It is one of the lifestyle changes we can make,” Mr Wakeham said.
“Changing our meat consumption habits is a small way to make an impact.”
The eat roo recommendation is contained in a report, Paths to a Low-Carbon Future, commissioned by Greenpeace and released today.
It also coincides with recent calls from climate change experts for people in rich countries to reduce red meat and switch to chicken and fish because land-clearing and burping and farting cattle and sheep were damaging the environment.
They said nearly a quarter of the planet’s greenhouse gases came from agriculture, which releases the potent heat-trapping gas methane.
Roughly three million kangaroos are killed and harvested for meat each year. They are shot with high-powered guns between the eyes at night.
Australians eat about a third of the 30 million kilograms of roo meat produced annually. The delicacy is exported to dozens of countries and is most popular in Germany, France and Belgium.
The Greenpeace report has renewed calls for Victoria to lift a ban on harvesting roos for food.
Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia spokesman John Kelly said roos invading farmers’ crops were already being illegally shot.
“They are being culled and left to rot,” Mr Kelly said.
Kangaroo meat sold in Victoria is imported from interstate.
Australia’s kangaroo population has halved to 25 million in the past five years as the drought has taken a toll on breeding and the animals’ food sources, Mr Kelly said.
Under a quota system, 10 to 12 per cent can be killed for the meat and leather industry. Aerial surveys estimate their numbers.
Today’s report by leading scientist Dr Mark Diesendorf, from the University of NSW, says greenhouse gas emissions need to be slashed by at least a third by 2020 to avoid a climate change catastrophe.
His recommendations include:
REDUCING beef consumption and increasing kangaroo meat production.
CUTTING gas and coal production.
HALTING land clearing and deforestation.
SHIFTING to renewable energy such as wind power and bioelectricity from crop residues.
“The world is currently on track to experience runaway global warming with average temperatures soon to exceed 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, Dr Diesendorf said.
“We face a catastrophe unless there is urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2020.”
A major report by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology released this month warned average temperatures will rise 1C by 2030 and could increase as much as 5C in Australia by 2070 unless global greenhouse emissions are cut dramatically.