Climatic Change

, Volume 120, Issue 1–2, pp 25–38 | Cite as

Meat consumption and climate change: the role of non-governmental organizations

  • Linnea I. LaestadiusEmail author
  • Roni A. Neff
  • Colleen L. Barry
  • Shannon Frattaroli


The contribution of livestock production to climate change is now widely acknowledged. Despite this, efforts to reduce meat consumption in light of climate change have been relatively limited. One potential avenue for encouraging consumption changes is via non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This study used a qualitative approach to understand how and to what extent environmental, food-focused, and animal protection NGOs in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden have worked to reduce or alter domestic meat consumption in light of climate change. While almost all of the NGOs examined had mentioned the issue on their websites, few had established formal campaigns to reduce meat consumption. Active public outreach was dominated by animal protection and food-focused groups, particularly in the U.S. and Canada. Animal protection organizations advocated for larger reductions in meat consumption than environmental groups. Few NGOs sought to promote national-level polices to reduce meat consumption. There is a continued need for public education campaigns with clear messages, particularly by environmental NGOs, as well as efforts to build support for policy measures that seek to reduce meat consumption.


Livestock Production Meat Consumption Animal Protection Public Education Campaign Environmental Working Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, the Johns Hopkins University Environment, Energy, Sustainability, & Health Institute, the Culture and Animals Foundation, and the Lipitz Public Health Policy Fund located in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Office of Public Health Practice and Training. Thanks go to the study participants and to Katherine Clegg-Smith and Adam Sheingate for valuable feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linnea I. Laestadius
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roni A. Neff
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Colleen L. Barry
    • 1
  • Shannon Frattaroli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy & ManagementJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Center for a Livable FutureJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health SciencesJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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