Meat has been a key part of most people’s diet for thousands of years but, with a growing global population expected to increase by 30 per cent** to 9 billion by 2050, the ‘unsustainable demand’ for protein is having significant effects on the environment.
Experts predict that by 2050 meat production will have to increase by over 200m tonnes, meaning there will be a 42 per cent increase in global cropland and a 77 per cent increase in greenhouse gases cover if attitudes towards meat consumption don’t change.
In a bid to tackle the protein problem, the first ever ‘World Meat Free Day’ is due to take place on Monday, June 15. This not-for-profit initiative has been set up to raise awareness of the serious sustainability issues surrounding excessive meat consumption and aims to encourage the people of Doncaster to pledge via the website World Meat Free Day - to go meat-free for just one day.
For the first time, leading organisations including The Eating Better Alliance, Compassion in World Farming and Quorn have joined forces to collectively raise awareness of the advantages meat reduction has on health and the environment and urge a shift towards eating less meat and better quality meat when it is eaten.
If 10 million people replaced the meat in just one meal, the amount of CO2 emissions saved would be the equivalent to driving around the world more than 2,430 times. In addition, a huge 5,700 acres
of land would be protected – that’s the equivalent to 89,000 tennis courts – or 35 times all the pitches in the entire English football league. Not to mention the health benefits meat reduction can have; if 10 million people pledged to eat meat-free for one meal 48 tonnes of saturated fat would be saved; the weight of three and half Big Bens.
Sue Dibb, Coordinator of the Eating Better Alliance, said “Eating less meat is a simple way to eat healthily and it’s better for the environment too. World Meat Free Day is a fantastic campaign that can really make a difference to the world we live in. Our research shows that 1 in 3 people are willing to consider eating less meat, with 1 in 5 already cutting back.”
“As an alliance, we are encouraging changes in the attitudes of businesses, governments and consumers, but we cannot do this alone. Every individual has the power to make change happen and we urge everyone to pledge before Monday 15th June to join this growing movement.”
Joyce D’Silva, Ambassador at Compassion in World Farming, said “Pledging not to eat meat for a day is a simple, positive solution that we can all be a part of. Eating too much meat is devastating for our health, the environment and causes suffering to animals.
“Eating less but only higher welfare meat allows us to eat well and reduce our impact on the environment”
Actress Joanna Lumley, who supports the initiative, said: “I support World Meat Free Day with all my heart. Just a day without eating meat might encourage people to think again how best we can save the planet.”
Iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is a supporter of the campaign and said: “It’s good to try an act of self-discipline every now and again. You never know it might become a habit. In this case it enormously helps the environment.”
So take one small step for our planet, and go meat-free on Monday, June 15. Pledge here: World Meat Free Day
* First ever World Meat Free Day taking place Monday, June 15,to raise awareness of the issues surrounding meat sustainability
* Eating Better Alliance, Compassion in World Farming , Quorn, Cauldron and York Festival of Ideas join forces
* Vivienne Westwood and Joanna Lumley support initiative
* If the population of Doncaster switched just one portion of beef mince to a plant based protein on World Meat Free Day they would save 190 acres of land
* Get involved and tweet us at @meat_free_day