Sir David Attenborough urges us to ditch meat to save the planet

Our appetite for meat is destroying the planet, according to Sir David Attenborough. In a new documentary, the naturalist urges people to go vegetarian to save species from dying out.

 “We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters…if we had a mostly plant-based diet we could increase the yield of the land,” Attenborough says in the film.

“The true tragedy of our time is still unfolding – the loss of biodiversity. Half of fertile land on Earth is now farmland, 70% of birds are domestic, majority chickens. We are one third of animals on Earth. This is now a planet run by – and for – humans. There’s little left for the world. We have completely destroyed it.”

He continues: “Scientists predict by 2030 the rainforest turns into a dry savannah, altering the global water cycle. The Arctic becomes ice-free, global warming increases, frozen soils release methane and accelerate climate change dramatically.

“By 2080 global food production enters crisis, soils overused, weather more unpredictable. The planet becomes four degrees warmer, large parts of the world uninhabitable.

“A sixth mass extinction is well under way. Our garden of Eden will be lost. I wish I wasn’t involved in this struggle. I wish I wasn’t there.”


Referring to the loss of wildlife and growth of meat production, he warns: “We’re replacing the wild with the tame,” but says: “If we act now, we can put it right.”

A Life On Our Planet will be in cinemas from 28 September before being released globally on Netflix in the autumn.

Take Action

It takes 100 calories of grain to produce just 12 calories of chicken or 3 calories worth of beef. Total emissions from livestock sector alone contribute to 18% of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions.

What we eat makes a significant difference to the impacts of climate breakdown. Find out how you can be part of the solution by clicking on the icons below:


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