World ​Meat-​Free Day Highlights Livestock Role In Environmental Degradation

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Since 2006, when the UN released its Livestock's Long Shadow report, the world has become aware of the impact that ​animal agriculture​​​ has on ​the planet's ​climate a​nd the environment in general​. The report estimated that livestock accounted for 18 percent of all emissions, the highest share for any sector.​ At current rates of livestock occupation and meat consumption, we would need three earths to meet demand.​

Since then, an increasing number of people have switched to plant-based diets (vegan), and many initiatives, especially Meatless Monday, supported by former Beatle Paul McCartney, ​have ​captured the general public's imagination​. Besides, several companies are offering more alternatives to those who want to forgo meat.

Coming up next, and hailing from the UK, is ​World Meat Free Day. It arrives on its third edition on June 12 and its mission is to bring home the message that going meat-free can go a long way to help the planet.

To help people gauge just how far one meatless meal can go, the folks behind World Meat Free Day have made the following estimates to show what would happen if the entire UK tried just one meat-free recipe:

  • It would prevent the carbon equivalent of the annual power use of 12,600 households, or the entire population of West Somerset in the southwest of England.
  • It would save land that equals to 24,150 football pitches
  • It would save the water equivalent of 4,426 Olympic sized swimming pools
  • It would save 5.8 billion calories, or 11.5 million Bic Mac’s

The initiative is supported by veggie celebrity Joanna Lumley (known for playing Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous) and musician Mike Joyce, former member of the band The Smiths. To inspire people to try veggie, WMFD provides yummy recipes on its official website to show how delicious life without meat can be.

The UK is at the forefront of the veggie revolution, with numbers going up all the time. Recent research by Mintel has found that 29% of British people claim to have reduced their meat intake in the past year alone. U.S. findings are also encouraging as 30% of U.S. adults who purchase vegetables are actively trying to eat a more plant-based diet, Mintel says.

“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 and stop cruelty to our fellow creatures at the same time," says Lumley.

To support the campaign online, use the hashtag #WorldMeatFreeDay, which last year trended for over 36 hours on Twitter, reaching over 84 million people.

Image credit: WMFD