A team of scientists' new research has determined that eating less meat may help save planet Earth, as well as reduce the risk of heart attacks in humans.
According to a report in New Scientist, the research was done by Alan Dangour of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues.
The team explored the livestock industry's potential to help the UK halve its carbon emissions by 2030, relative to 1990 levels, and the knock-on effect on the nation's health.
They found that the industry could slash its emissions, but only if the livestock the UK produces, and the meat the nation consumes, drops by 30 per cent.
Farms must also optimize their energy efficiency by, for example, capturing carbon in manure.
The health pay-off would be considerable.
18,000 fewer people would die prematurely in the UK each year from heart attacks - a reduction of 17 per cent - as they would eat less of the saturated fats found in meat.
The effect would not be limited to rich nations. The team found that Brazil could achieve the same health benefits.
"We're not saying go vegetarian, we're saying reduce how much livestock produce you consume," said Dangour.
"The savings could be even higher if reduced death rates from colorectal cancer and obesity had been included," he added.