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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?


ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
well - being a vegetarian - i'm SO UP FOR THIS - i think that it's a good thing to make people realize that it's not just driving cars and things that like which impact the environment, but it's the plants that manufacture meat and various foods. there's a lot being emitted into the atmosphere just to process meat and makes me sick on soo many levels to think about it. i'm not sure that we'll ever see a real impact/change because of this - seeing as how meat production really does contribute to a large portion of revenue for folks but it's a step in the right direction if people were able to follow at least 1 day a week being MEAT FREE
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
It's amazing what pops up when you type in "kittens"
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
LOL!!!!! blue!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Haha I brought up the kitten eating thing as a joke originally...because to me it really makes no difference whether I'm eating a kitty or a cow. Many eastern asian countries eat kitties (though dogs to a way lesser degree) so my point is just that what we will allow ourselves to eat really has to do with cultural expectations. Ya know, some religions prohibit eating cows because they're sacred; in Amurrica, our golden retrievers are sacred! Blues: good to see Bush practicing some cultural sensitivity for once!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I dunno Harmony...
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
ummmm....pop I hope you're kidding about eating kittens. :o
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
:oops: I ♥ tofu!
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
I :heart: tofu! But sometimes I just have to eat a steak. I don't eat a lot of beef, though. I'm more of a chicken and fish girl myself.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I usually go meat free, but not protein free, 2-3 days a week, but only because of budget reasons! Meat isnt Cheap.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
lilkimbo I was going to mention Fogo de Chao! It's a little pricey but yummm. I personally love all kinds of meat (especially kitten), and I don't think I could ever give it up. But I think that going 1-2 days per week without meat is something that I would like to try. It doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice, and it will help me get more creative in my cooking. Plus, I need to do a better job in general of eating a wider variety of veggies. This will be a fun experiment!
em1282 em1282 9 years
Yeah, HF, Brazzaz is awesome. The last time I went there I saw Ozzie Guillen. He does adverts for them so I wasn't surprised, but he had on these crazy pointy snakeskin boots. Wonder if he ever wears those to Sox games ;)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I'm jealous, HF! Mmm. Turkey bacon is one of my faves.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
It was a birthday dinner for me so ate for free and guilt free!
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I'm actually a huge fan of turkey burgers. YUM.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
There's this great one in downtown San Diego, but as hypno pointed out, unfortunately one DOES pay a premium for the experience :(
em1282 em1282 9 years
LOL, Jude, we all need a field trip to a Brazilian steakhouse ;)
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I think it might have been brazzaz! It was SOOOOOOO good.
em1282 em1282 9 years
bluesarahlou--I just laughed out loud at that cow emoticon. They really do have such sweet faces, though! I think it's the eyes. And the cute peaceful chewing these cows had going on. Hee :)
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
I don't eat a ton of meat. No particular reason why, just kind of how my diet & cooking shakes out. But I could NEVER give up cheeseburgers! Sorry cows and planet, but I think I love cheeseburgers more than you!
em1282 em1282 9 years
Lilkim--I LOVE THAT PLACE! And those darn cheesy bread things...sometimes I swear I eat more of *those* than actual meat. Haha, HF, I'm trying to think of which one that is...I've been to Brazzaz (think that might be the one you're thinking of?), Fogo de Chao, and one other one...can't think of the name off the top of my head...ughhh so good! Hypno--my cheap ass has learned to go at lunch. ;) Usually it's half the price of dinner!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
Em seriously, cows have some of the sweetest faces! :moo:
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I think going "meat-free" one day a week wouldn't be the end of the world for me...while I do love red meat (had an exxxxcellent london broil last week), I tend to only eat it maybe once or twice a week. There are also certain types of red meat I avoid (like the fast food kind ;) ), but there's a whole list of reasons for that! And being a super picky eater, it would be difficult for me to become a vegetarian.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Yes the Brazilian places are great except when you drop over a hundred dollars for two people. Maybe that's the key to getting people to go meat free, lol.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I've been to one of those Em. It's right by Navy Pier. Oh I can't remember what it was called but it was INSANELY good.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Ohhh yes, those Brazilian places are the best!
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