Stockfree Farming conducted a qualitative survey of Scottish farmers and crofters from 2021 – 2022.
The need to reduce the production and consumption of animal products has been widely accepted as a climate change mitigation measure. The missing piece up to now has been how the farmers themselves feel about this. Our survey fills this gap.
Some of our key findings are below:
- Contrary to the reactionary rhetoric of the farming unions and press, farmers are open and willing to change; even the shift away from livestock farming entirely.
“I’d happily have no beasts at all.”
- 64% of respondents with rough grazing and permanent pasture said they would consider transitioning out of livestock farming entirely and into ‘farming carbon capture’ by helping the land return to its natural state (rewilding), providing financial support is in place.
“Oh yes! If we got as much money as we do for taking care of the cows, then I would give it up!”
- With regard to plant-based diets, 80% of respondents said they would consider changing their farming practice in order to meet changing consumer preferences.
“They’re the customer.”
- 86% of respondents said they would consider changing their farming practice to help mitigate climate change including the reduction in livestock numbers (56%).
“We know these changes are coming, so we have to be willing to change too.”