Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Everyone should at least have a Meatless Monday

Photo: Mattias Nilsson (Madcap piktures), 2008
Clothes: Sewn by me. In imitation leather.

This is my English report for school. I hope my teacher likes it ;-)

Refrain meat on Mondays, that is the message the former front member in the Beatles, Paul McCartney and his daughters is propagating. The project started in 2009 but before that meatless Mondays was 2003 as a public health awareness program in some schools in USA.
As the worlds populations grows and the demand for meat keeps rising we should cut down on our consumption of meat. There are a lot of reasons for doing that besides the obvious negative effect on climate change. The meat-industries impact on global warming is somewhere between 18 – 30% depending on how you measure it, that makes it the biggest single polluter on the planet. So could skipping meat once a week make a difference? Yes, it makes an enormous difference!
First of all the meat-industries impact on the environment and especially on global warming is huge, there has been a lot of debating around the flying industry and the pollution from airtravel. If you consider that the entire flying-industry is responsible for 1% of the greenhouse gases on a global scale and the meat-industry is responsible for up to 30% you can come to a very easy conclusion. If everyone eats vegetarian food just once every month that would do as much for the climate as if you stopped all flights on the planet. Just consider what an impact skipping meat once a week would do.
Secondly, the world population keeps growing and last week we passed the 7 billion people mark, So how does meat-consumption effect the total supply of food in the world and how is it related to a large population of starving people? In one acre you could produce 1 unit of meat protein or 10 units of vegetable-protein. Thus, one person eating meat takes away nine persons food. There is just not enough farmland on the planet to support our meat eating habits if we think that everyone should have the same right to food as we do. A single kg of meat also needs a lot of water, 50.000 liter for just one kilogram compared to 300 liter for the same amount of vegetable-protein. So if we make our Mondays meat free we do not only preserve water, we also give people in poverty a chance to be able to afford food and keep them from starving.
In addition to the other aspects there is other environmental issues that needs to be considered. The deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, the fact that 80% of the produced soy-protein is used for feeding animals, pollution of water resources etc.
However I am aware that there is a difficulty when it comes to lifestyle chooses and that the awareness of what our consumption does to our planet is low. Therefore a small change like eating meat free food just on Mondays is a beginning to tackle the problems. On the other hand something needs to be done if we still want a planet that can sustain life for future generations.
In conclusion it´s clear that we need to change the way we think about what food we eat and take a personal responsibility for the future on the planet. If everyone eats meat free food at least once a week that would be a good start, and the effects on the environment and greenhouse gases would be four times the amount that all airplanes on the planet just by changing what we eat.

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