I never thought about how many people would be willing to give up animal protein as a consequence of climate concerns. But a recent poll with 24,000 adults across 31 countries released by Ipsos’ Global Advisor states that “slightly more than two in three (68%) adults, on average said they’re concerned about the impacts of climate change in their country.” However, only 44% said they’re likely to eat less meat, or replace it with alternatives, in order to reduce their personal impact on climate change in 2022.

These types of statements would not be surprising in countries like Japan, France, Canada or the United States, all mentioned in the results. But the fact that countries like Peru and Mexico were among those with the highest percentage of people willing to give up meat, 64% and 61%, respectively, was quite a shock.

It is a shock because we are talking about two countries with very high per capita consumption of chicken (Peru, 51 kg) and eggs (Mexico, 409 eggs). Both figures are, by far, the highest in the region and record-breaking in the world. One might think it is the taste and ease to cook, or cultural atavism behind this, but let us not forget both are the cheapest animal proteins on hand. And also, the ones that are more efficient and contribute the least to climate change.

I certainly agree with one of the Ipsos officials in Mexico who said that we should not forget the gap between saying and doing, which is so common in Latin culture. And the fact that if there is a reduction in consumption, it will be blamed on high prices and not on climate change. I would also question which part of the society was surveyed. Higher classes in Latin America would follow the trend in developed countries, but the vast majority of the population, making much less in one day than an American in one hour, would not follow the trend.

Maybe it would be great to restate the question: in order to reduce the impact on climate change, what would you rather reduce/stop using: air conditioning, cars or chicken and eggs?

What do you think?