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Last September, the chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC), Dr. Rajendra Pachauri asked people to reduce their intake of meat. “In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,” said Pachauri. “Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there,' said the Indian economist, who is a vegetarian.”
Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of the Monday Campaigns, in association with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and 27 other public health schools, is asking people to give up meat on Mondays. The goal of Meatless Monday is to reduce meat consumption 15 percent.
Livestock industry’s effects on the environment
Meatless Monday lists the benefits to the environment of eating less meat:
Reduce your carbon footprint. The meat industry generates an estimated one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The demand for meat continues to grow every year, so giving up meat one day a week can help slow down the trend.
Help reduce fossil fuel dependence. It takes an average 40 calories of fossil fuel energy for every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. It only takes 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy to grow plant-based protein.
Eating less meat also reduces what I call your “methane footprint.” Methane is a GHG with a warming effect 23 times greater than carbon dioxide. Cows that chew a cud, cows and sheep for example, produce method. In Chris Goodall’s book, “Live a Low-Carbon Life,” he pointed out that “dairy cows are particularly important sources of methane because of the volume of food, both grass and processed material, that they eat.”
A report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest stated that methane produce by cattle “has a global warming effect equal to that of 33 million automobiles,” the Center reports in its book Six Arguments for a Greener Diet.”
Henning Steinfeld, author of a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the U.S. called livestock “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems.” Livestock cause 37 percent of GHG emissions, according to the report.
Visit Farm Animal Rights Movement's Meatout Monday site.
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