Animal Aid

Government's advisory body on sustainability says, ‘eat less meat and dairy’

Posted 11 December 2009

The government’s independent advisory body on sustainability - the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) - has today (Dec 11th), published the first official recommendation for a diet that is both healthy and good for the environment. To fight climate change and reduce the growing number of diet-related diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, the SDC recommends that consumers cut down on meat and dairy produce, reduce their intake of processed foods and curb waste.

Eating fewer animal products and more fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses will have the most significant and immediate impact on making our diets more sustainable, says the report. It highlights a number of environmental benefits, including a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, slowing of deforestation, freeing of farm land for other use, freeing of water resources and slowing the loss of biodiversity.

As recent NHS figures, published elsewhere, reveal that almost one in four boys and more than one in five girls in England are overweight or obese at the start of their school lives, eating less meat and dairy will reduce the incidence of obesity and other diet-related illnesses. It would also lower food prices and the average cost of food shopping (see Animal Aid’s ‘Meat Free! Feed four for under a fiver' booklet).

Reducing the amount of animal products in your diet, is, of course, a great start, but if we really want to protect the planet, our health, and live a compassionate cruelty-free life then we need to progress towards a completely plant-based vegan diet. So why not start with a Meat-Free Monday and when you’re comfortable with this, try Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday? And if you’re already veggie, you can try a vegan day once a week.

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