8 Reasons To Rock-On With Meat-Free Monday (with Paul McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow)
I don’t generally get star struck, and food is not one of my writing niches, as the cook in the ‘ol EcoNest is my husband, but when a Beatle and an Oscar-winning actress get involved in something I care deeply about, like whether or not to eat meat, I’m over the moon.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has a blog. She and, Paul McCartney, a dyed-in-the-wool vegetarian, have a story to tell about the environmental impact of raising livestock. Gwyneth’s blog is called GOOP. Her blog is not going to change the world like Care2 will, but it is worth checking out as she lives an uber-healthy and green lifestyle and shares some wonderful recipes, things to do, and places to go.
GOOP posted a story by Paul McCartney about Meat-Free Monday. Here’s how it starts:
“In 2006, the United Nations issued a report which stated that the livestock industry as a whole was responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the whole of the transport sector put together.”
Paul (just writing his name makes me swoon) found this statement interesting because, “The UN is not a vegetarian society as a whole, so their findings would not be biased.”
Next: 8 facts about the livestock industry
8 Facts About The Livestock Industry:
1. The Livestock industry produces gases that are extremely dangerous for the future of our environment.
2. The two main gases, methane and nitrous oxide, are considered to be more harmful than CO2 (methane is 21 times more powerful than CO2 and nitrous oxide is 310 times more powerful than CO2) so the data suggests that this is causing a highly dangerous situation for ourselves and, more importantly, for future generations.
3. Methane also remains in the atmosphere for 9 to 15 years; nitrous oxide remains in the atmosphere for 114 years, on average, and is 296 times more potent than CO2 – the gases released today will continue to be active in degrading the climate decades from now.
4. Livestock production is land intensive: a recent report by Greenpeace on land use in the largest meat producing state in Brazil found that livestock (cattle) production was responsible for vastly more deforestation than soya.
5. A third of all cereal crops, and well over 90 percent of soya, goes into animal feed, not food for humans. Eating less meat will free up a lot of agricultural land which can revert to growing trees and other vegetation, which, in turn, will absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
6. Livestock production is water intensive: it accounts for around 8 percent of global human water use. The estimated 634 gallons of fresh water required to produce one 5.2 ounce (150g) beef burger would be enough for a four-hour shower. For comparison, the same quantity of tofu requires 143 gallons of water to produce.
7. Livestock production is the largest source of water pollutants, principally animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures.
8. The meat industry is set to double its production by 2050, so even if they manage to lower emissions by 50 percent, as they have promised to, we will still be in the same position.
With this in mind, Paul and his family launched Meat-Free Monday in the UK. He has supporters from all over the globe including a number of schools and other celebrities. Al Gore acknowledged that initiatives like Meat-Free Monday, “represent a responsible and welcome component of a comprehensive strategy for reducing global warming pollution and simultaneously improving human health.”
Paul feels that so many people these days are looking for ways to “do their bit” for the environment, it is up to the people to address climate change.
“Having been a vegetarian for over 30 years, I find it very simple and in fact, tasty and most enjoyable.” says Paul.
Check out Paul’s Meat Free Monday Song:
Thank you Sir Paul, and thank you Sweet Gwyneth.