SIR – Interesting to hear Kerry McCarthy, Shadow Environment Secretary, being denounced as “cranky” for calling for a “health drive against meat consumption”. In fact, many health experts have said that reducing meat-eating is a justifiable way towards a personal healthier lifestyle.

Significantly, it is also healthier for the planet. In a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), called Livestock’s Long Shadow, it informed us that the meat industry was an even bigger contributor to climate change than the whole of the transport industry.

Due to the vast number of animals involved, the FAO estimates livestock production is responsible for up to 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, some estimates putting it as high as 50 per cent.

The main culprits are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide but also significant is that animal agriculture sucks up massive amounts of water. To produce just one 5.2 ounce (147g) beefburger, it takes 634 gallons of freshwater!

So, rather than continuing to ignore all the “evidence” and insulting those who take it seriously, isn’t it time we realised there are real problems here to be addressed?

David Hornsby, West View Avenue, Wrose