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UN Says Cut Meat to Curb Warming, UK Consumption Doubles

Ever thought about becoming a Tuesday-tarian? Going meat-free one day a week is, according to the chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a personal sacrifice that will help fix climate change. The more meat-free days, the better.

Given that the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that meat production makes almost a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions and those stinky pre-hamburger cows shoot out tons of methane — 23 times more tied to global warming than carbon dioxide — plus habitat destruction and transportation, just skipping the burger is the easiest option. But that trend seems far from ready to tip. The agency thinks that meat consumption is going to double by the middle of the century.

A group called World Farming is calling governments to lead campaigns to reduce meat consumption by 60 per cent by 2020. The meat industry isn't going to take the patty lying down. A spokesman for a pig industry group says, "Climate change is a very young science and our view is there are a lot of simplistic solutions being proposed."

How much meat does the average person eat? To find out,


At 500 pounds of meat per average cow, as measured in the UK, the average person eats 8 whole cows in their lifetime. Add to that 36 sheep, 36 pigs, and 550 chickens. In the UK, meat consumption has risen 50 percent in the last 40 years. The average burger in a fast food restaurant will cost you 2.2 pounds of carbon dioxide — maybe something to weigh against the $ .99 value meal? Would you ditch meat for the environment?


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