Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32451
Life Cycle-Based Analysis of Meat Production: Ecosystem Impacts

Authors: Michelle Zeyuan Ma, Hermann Heilmeier


Recently, meat production ecosystem impacts initiated many hot discussions and researchers, and it is a difficult implementation to reduce such impacts due to the demand of meat products. It calls for better management and control of ecosystem impacts from every aspects of meat production. This article analyzes the ecosystem impacts of meat production based on meat products life cycle. The analysis shows that considerable ecosystem impacts are caused by different meat production steps: initial establishment phase, animal raising, slaughterhouse processing, meat consumption, and wastes management. Based on this analysis, the impacts are summarized as: leading factor for biodiversity loss; water waste, land use waste and land degradation; greenhouse gases emissions; pollution to air, water, and soil; related major diseases. The article also provides a discussion on a solution-sustainable food system, which could help in reducing ecosystem impacts. The analysis method is based on the life cycle level, it provides a concept of the whole meat industry ecosystem impacts, and the analysis result could be useful to manage or control meat production ecosystem impacts from investor, producer and consumer sides.

Keywords: Eutrophication, life cycle based analysis, sustainable food, waste management.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1091


[1] McDougall J. (2006), An Inconvenient Truth: We Are Eating Our Planet to Death. Choosing a Plant-food Based Diet Is a Moral Issue. Retrieved on 11, Dec, 2017 at
[2] D. Shourie (2006). Cattle biggest contributor to global warming: UN. Retrieved on 20, Dec, 2017 at
[3] Mitloehner (2016). Livestock and Climate Change. Retrieved on 20, Dec, 2017 at
[4] FAO, Source of Meat (2014). Retrieved on 13, Dec, 2017 at
[5] FAO (2006). Livestock's long shadow. Retrieved on 12, May, 2017 at
[6] Physicians Committee for responsible medicines (2016), Retrieved on 5, Jan, 2018 at
[7] FAO, Source of Meat (2014). Retrieved on 15 Dec 2017 from
[8] J. B. Veiga, J. F. Tourrand (2003), Cattle Ranching in The Amazon Rainforest. Retrieved on 15, Dec, 2017 at
[9] David Pimental (2012). Global Economic and Environmental Aspects of Biofuels, Chapter 8.
[10] Fertilizer, Retrived on 11, Dec, 2017 at
[11] Cornell Chronicle (1997). Retrieved on 28, Dec, 2017 at
[12] A. Akhtar (2013). We Are Not Safe From Bird Flu as Long as Factory Farms Exist, HuffPost. Retrieved on 20, De, 2017 at
[13] Collection Evolution, (2013). Retreived on 12, Dec, 2017 at
[14] EWG (Environmental Working Group), 2011, Retrieved on 11, Dec, 2017 at
[15] MacLachlan DJ (2008). Retrieved on 12, Nov, 2017 at
[16] Castillo (2012). Pesticide Residue Analysis in Animal Origin Food. Retrieved on 20, Dec, 2017 at
[17] Marjorie S. (1984). Abstract: Use of antibiotics in animal feed challenged. Rerieved on 14, Dec, 2017 at
[18] HuffPost (2011). Girls’ Early Puberty: What Causes It, And How To Avoid It. Retrieved on 12, Dec, 2017 at
[19] WHO (2016). Obesity and overweight, Media Centre. Retrived on 25 Jun 2017 at
[20] M. Hoffman (2008). Safer food for a healthier you, WebMD. Retrieved on 5, Jan, 2018 at
[21] Hippocratesinst (2012), Meet Meat: A Killer. Retrived on 4, Jan, 2017 at
[22] EWG (2011). Climate and Environmental Impacts. Retrieved on 23, Dec, 2017 at
[23] EWG (2011). Pesticides. Retrieved on 23, Dec, 2017 at
[24] Meateater's Guide (2011). Retrieved on 12, Dec, 2017 at
[25] N. Sagener (2015). EURACTIV Germany reports. Agriculture poses immense threat to environment. Retrieved on 18 Dec 2017 at
[26] E. C. Ukpong (2013). Sanitary Conditions and Possible Diseases Linked with Slaughterhouses Effluent of Iba Oku in Uyo Capital City, AkwaIbom State, Nigeria. Retrieved on 20, Dec, 2017 at American Journal of Environmental Engineering 2013, 3(5) page 261.
[27] S. Farr (2015). Beyond the Factory Farm: How Slaughterhouses Are Polluting the Planet. One Green Planet. Retrieved on 20, Dec, 2017 at
[28] L. A. H. M. Verheijen (1996). Management of Waste from Animal Product Processing, chapter 1: The Environmental Impact of The Animal Product Processing Industries. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved on 28, Dec, 2017 at
[29] WWF. It's Time to Reconsider Our Food System. Retrieved on 11, Dec, 2017 at
[30] Sang-Hee Jeong (2010). Risk Assessment of Growth Hormones and Antimicrobial Residues in Meat. Retrieved on 27, Dec, 2017 at
[31] C. Sherpa (2010). Top 15 chemical additives in your food. Retrieved on 20, Dec, 2017 at
[32] K. Nemec. How Meat Can Destroy Your Health and Cause Heart Disease, Cancer, and Infection. Retrieved on 5, Jam, 2018 at
[33] WHO (2016). 10 facts on food safety. Retrieved on 25 June 2017 from
[34] T. Gadda (2010). Our World, United Nation University. Retrived on 29, Dec, 2017 at
[35] A. Etemadi (2017). Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study. Retrieved on 5, Jan, 2018 at
[36] S. Naidoo (2013). Treated Wastewater Effluent as a Source of Microbial Pollution of Surface Water Resources. Retrieved on 22, Dec, 2017 at
[37] Peta (2014). Fight Climate Change by Going Vegan. Retrieved on 12, May, 2017 at
[38] Huffpost. Retrieved on 23 Dec, 2017 at
[39] C. Khoury (2015). Cutting Back On Meat Consumption Could Help End Hunger By 2030: Experts, HuffPost. Retrieved on 29, Dec, 2017 at
[40] FAO (2006). Livestock's long shadow. Retrieved on 12, May, 2017 at
[41] Livestock and Climate Change (2016). Retrieved on 14, Jan, 2018 at
[42] Huffpost (2015). Retrieved on 4, Jan, 2018 at