When we think about saving the planet, we immediately think about using plastic straws, recycling, and relying on our vehicles less. But it’s actually our diets that are leaving the biggest carbon footprint.
Recently, the United Nations released a report on climate science. In this report, there was a whole section on the impact of food systems on climate change. The article encourages us, as a population, to make the switch towards a more plant-based diet in order to reduce meat consumption, knowing this could significantly increase the planet’s ability to fight climate change.
Debra Roberts, co-chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stated that some dietary choices require a lot more land and water than a plant-based diet. If people don’t want to switch to a 100% plant diet, even eating meat only a couple of times per week can make a significant difference. It takes 75 times more energy to produce meat than it does corn, also taking an area of vegetation 7 times the size of the EU. This area is used to produce food for cattle and other livestock animals in Europe.
Studies on reducing your meat intake
Figures from Waitrose have suggested that one in eight Britons are now vegetarian or vegan and a further 21% claim to be flexitarian. In November 2018, a study was conducted that came to the conclusion that one in five UK adults say they are following flexitarian diets or reducing the amount of meat they eat. The results for flexitarian/meat reduction is that those who are 55+ are more likely to follow this diet. Whereas, younger people between the ages of 18-25 are more likely to be completely vegan. Research also shows that the number of vegans in the UK has increased from 150,000 to 600,000 in four years, it’s a growing revolution!
This huge number of people are helping climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Additionally, it is now more widely understood that feeding 56 billion farmed animals grain and water is extremely energy-intensive. This is also due to the processing, transporting and storing of the animal meat before it reaches your plate.
Meat Free Monday
Meat Free Mondays was created by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009. It’s a non-profit campaign which encourages people to eat less meat due to the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing. You can get your meat-free Mondays kickstarted by visiting their website which contains delicious recipes for the whole family. If you would like to dedicate yourself to meat-free Mondays, sign up here: https://www.meatfreemondays.com/get-involved/
What are the facts?
- It can take up to 12kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef
- Producing 500g of beef uses the same amount of water as spending over 6 and a half hours in the shower
- Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined
- Commercial fishing methods often clear the ocean floor of all life and destroy coral reefs
- Livestock agriculture causes 80% of deforestation worldwide
As the interest in a plant based lifestyle, and quality plant based alternatives to meat, continues to grow, you no longer need to worry about sacrificing flavour or texture when you go meat free. There are a number of plants out there that can replicate the texture and taste of meat:
You don’t even need to forgo your favourite takeaway when you go meat free. What The Pitta is now one of a number of shops offering an ethical twist on a beloved classic. What The Pitta’s döner meat uses GMO free soya pieces but has been complimented by customers for its meaty texture and flavour. So, when you pop in to one of our stores, you can still enjoy all the taste but with the added satisfaction of knowing that you’re also helping to save the planet. Go you.
Cutting out meat is one of the best things you can do for the planet, yourself and the animals! Try meatless Monday’s and see for yourself how much better you’ll feel!