Animal Aid

Ask your local authority to support Meat-Free Monday to help reduce climate change

Posted 7 December 2009

Today (Dec 7th), world leaders will meet in Copenhagen and, over the next ten days, will try to come to a political agreement on climate change. But, like most political discussions, economic and business issues will probably dominate. There is likely to be strong resistance to the development of policy initiatives that result in the cut back of the consumption of animal products. This is despite the fact that the relationship between animal products and climate change is an important one that should be considered at all levels - from the individual to local and national governments.

It would be difficult to find an individual who has not heard about climate change and the steps that they can take to reduce their own carbon footprints. But many people are still unaware that the food choices they make account for nearly a third of their impact on climate change. Animal products specifically create major environmental problems. As stated on the government's website (Directgov), 'meat and dairy foods have a much bigger effect on climate change than most grains, pulses, fruit and vegetables.'

It is the role of local authorities to develop initiatives that will raise awareness about such issues and, consequently, to help their citizens to reduce their intake of meat and other animal products. But, UK local authorities are lagging far behind the Belgian cities of Ghent, Hasselt and Mechelen - and also Sao Paulo in Brazil. All have declared a weekly meat-free day. If a UK city were to support Meat-Free Monday, it would not only create public awareness and set an example for others, but it really would make a difference. The potential for positive change is enormous. If everyone in the UK adopted at least one meat-free day a week, it would result in greater carbon savings than taking five million cars off the road. So please contact your local councillor and ask him or her to support Meat-Free Monday. Together, we can make a difference.

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