Meat Free Monday

McCartney launches Meat Free Mondays

Paul McCartney with daughters Stella and Mary

Paul McCartney with daughters Stella and Mary

I have to confess to enjoying  my own home-made beef burgers in a red onion and wine gravy – its a real winter comfort food but I know only too well the effect rearing cattle has on the environment so I’m going Meat Free Mondays.

Renowned musician and vegetarian, Paul McCartney, helped launch Meat Free Mondays in response to the ever-growing climate change crisis.

Personally I think its a great idea – healthwise, dietwise, economicwise and environment-wise and I’m looking forward to changing my eating habits.

Here are some other reasons why its a good idea.  I’ll post some  tasty veggie recipes soon – you’ve been warned.

According to the UN Report ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow’, methane-emissions from cattle account for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, even higher than global transport emissions which come in at 13%.

Here are some other facts:

Meat is a “major stressor” on the world’s ecosystems, according to a UN report

*Meat makes 1.4 per cent of global GDP but 18 per cent of greenhouse gases

*Forty calories of fossil fuel energy go into producing a calorie of beef, but 2.2 calories for one calorie of plant protein

*Livestock production uses 8 per cent of the world’s fresh water

*One billion people are overweight, mostly in the west, where meat consumption is higher. Vegetarians tend to be slimmer

*The World Cancer Research Fund recommends eating 500g red meat a week

Of course,  ICSA leader, Eddie Punch has dismissed the idea as ‘nonsense’ and in an article  headed ‘Farm leader dismisses McCartney’s meat-free campaign’ Punch claims the campaign is a front for ‘militant vegetarianism dressed up as concern for the environment’. Don’t you just love it.

He has a point though when he claims that ‘ageing pop stars, noted for their conspicuous consumption and wasteful jet setting, are hardly best placed to lecture ordinary meat-eating folk on how to change their lifestyle patterns in order to save the planet.”

Guilty Burger Eater

There’s a more in-depth interview with Macca and his two daughters Stella and Mary here.


1 Response to “Meat Free Monday”

  1. 1 eddie punch July 31, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Just for the record, I am with the ICSA, not the ICMSA. On the emissions thing, when you convert grassland used for livestock rearing into cereal/ crop growing, the actual ploughing and cultivating causes a steep rise in emissions in the short term- much worse than if you had left the land in grass. So it’s not just as simple as McCartney thinks. AS it happens, the trend towards soya bean monoculture across a lot of South America is actually hugely damaging to the environment. It would be interesting to see how much soya is used by the Linda McCartney veggie food empire. Sir Paul’s latest efforts wouldn’t be, by any chance, an effort to drum up business for the Linda McCartney veggie food company? It might also be worth pondering how organic farming would fare out without the availability of a ready supply of livestock manure which is central to farming without chemically produced fertilisers. Also, meat free Mondays must also imply milk, cheese and yogurt free Mondays as well, seeing as beef is mostly a bi-product of dairy production in many countries.
    Eddie Punch

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