You might wonder why, as a long-time vegetarian, I am writing on a topic that so blatantly opposes my own dietary inclinations. Yet, the topic of the keynote address given by Louwrens Hoffman
at Tropentag’s closing plenary is exactly why I must. Though many choose vegetarianism in response to animal welfare issues or because they “love” animals too much to eat them, consuming few or no animal products is a growing response to an unsustainable system of meat production
. The livestock sector accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions
, and contributes to soil erosion and freshwater pollution. At the same time, over a quarter of the Earth’s land surface is not suitable for growing crops, yet could support livestock.