A barrister has called for new laws against practices that harm the environment – including eating meat. But some experts say criminalising carnivores could do more harm than good

That late-night kebab might be considered a guilty pleasure, but could it one day be seen as a crime against the planet? Will the time come when the only means of procuring a slab of Aberdeen Angus is from a dodgy dealer with a cool box? The barrister Michael Mansfield has suggested that we should have new laws against ecocide – practices that destroy the planet – and that under them, meat could be targeted. “I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet, it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal,” he said.

A study last year by researchers at the University of Oxford, published in the journal Nature, showed meat and dairy produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and takes up 83% of farmland, but delivers just 18% of calories and 37% of protein.

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