While he stopped short of recommending rat’s milk as an alternative, musician Paul McCartney did follow in the footsteps of his former wife Heather Mills by advocating for increased diets of vegetables and less meat.
The former Beatle drew attention to a United Nations report which found that the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18% – than transport. In a letter to the UK Press Association, he outlined the dramatic effects eating meat has on the planet — including the facts that 70% of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing and that livestock now use 30% of the entire world’s land surface. From his letter,
“That this message comes directly from an authoritative body such as the UN (whose member states, it should be remembered, are not generally considered vegetarian) rather than an organisation committed to vegetarianism is significant.
What I think is especially compelling is that this report should now encourage everybody to ‘do their bit’ for the planet… the evidence that the report gives is, frankly, stunning. It points directly to the striking detrimental effects of excessive livestock farming on the environment. It generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.
By simply considering altering eating habits people can strike a blow for the environment, our children and the future. Such facts and data as those listed above can’t be ignored.”
Good words from Sir Paul McCartney and excellent food for thought this Holiday season as the massive festive dinners continue on through New Years. For those of us not vegetarian, consider reducing your intake this year and making an effort to invite more green into your diets. Every little bit helps. We can all be conscious of the impact our food has on the world.