Livestock benefits outweigh pitfalls

I was disappointed to read the article “It’s time to rethink animal agriculture” in the Nov. 17 edition and would like to point out some inaccuracies.

Ruminants such as cattle efficiently convert foods unpalatable to humans (i.e. grass) into a highly nutrient dense human food, with levels of iron, zinc and other nutrients that are very hard to replace with non-red meat diets.

In vast areas of Australia, food production from livestock farming is the only viable form of agriculture, with cropping not possible due to low rainfall and harsh climate.

While emissions from livestock are unavoidable, the industry in Australia has set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has already reduced emissions by 45 percent since 2005. The Australian industry has also reduced water usage by 65 percent in the last 30 years. The beef industry is vital to feeding our population sustainability today and into the future.

I politely request The Japan Times seek balanced reporting on this important topic in the future.

ANDREW COX
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGER, JAPAN AND KOREA MEAT AND LIVESTOCK AUSTRALIA CHIYODA WARD TOKYO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.