Isabelle Baltenweck’s article (Opinion, September 17): The sustainability problem with current meat consumption is twofold: excess consumption and industrial mass production. Both problems are present in Europe and the US, certainly not in Africa or some parts of Asia. Humans have relied on meat and dairy products and some cultures rely exclusively on them (especially nomadic populations) such as the Samburu herders or the Masai tribes. Except that they produce and consume these products sustainably.

No one is arguing for one moment that those cultures should either change their diet or, worse, change their secular culture. It is us in the rich west that need to go back to that model. It was offensive to read such a disingenuous article which instrumentalises poor populations in far away countries and depicts them as victims of our environmental concerns when in fact they are the model we should aspire to for finding a balance between human needs, animal welfare and the environment.

What they have achieved is a form of symbiosis that is perfectly natural. It is the industrialised west that has lost touch with our natural origins. It is us who need to change, not them. If alternative meat is the answer, so be it.

Annalisa Burello
London SW10, UK

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