"Meat production depletes precious resources to increasingly unsustainable levels" - Paul McCartney
Former Beatles man Paul McCartney has written a letter in support of the ‘Meat Free Mondays‘ campaign, addressing David Cameron in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference, which begins on Monday (November 30).
The McCartney Family have been backing the campaign since 2009. The campaign argues that developed countries can reduce their carbon footprint by 2% overnight if everyone cuts out meat consumption one day a week, as well as talking about health benefits.
The McCartney’s suggestions include the implementation of Meat Free Mondays at schools, universities and government buildings, as well as involving restaurants and private businesses.
Alongside his letter, Paul McCartney has released a video on behalf of the campaign, in which he says:
“Hello there. Paul McCartney speaking … to you.”
“If you heard that meat production was one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, what would you do? Would you just ignore that fact, or would you want to do something and want to find a solution?”
“Well, we encourage people at Meat Free Monday to not eat meat on a Monday – or any other day of the week – just one day makes a real difference!”
“The idea has been taken up by schools, universities, governments – all around the world – and they’re enjoying it! People are enjoying it and it is going to make a big, big difference.”
“So we urge you to talk to your people, talk to the schools, talk to your friends, talk to anyone you need to talk to and encourage this idea. Because if enough of us do it, it could really make a big difference.”
Read the McCartney’s letter in full, below:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to you on behalf of Meat Free Monday, a campaign launched in the UK in 2009. The aim of Meat Free Monday is to condense some complicated issues into a simple and effective message: to ask people to have at least one meat-free day a week to help protect the planet and our future.
Massive meat production creates harmful greenhouse gases and depletes precious resources, including land, water and energy, to increasingly unsustainable levels. It is a major contributor towards global environmental degradation and climate change and is also a major factor in loss of species and biodiversity – if present trends continue, over the next 100 years there will be a global mass extinction of species. With increasing evidence of the growth of the global meat industry having alarming environmental consequences, meat reduction is now more important than ever.
Next week you and other world leaders will meet in Paris for the COP21 to try and reach an ambitious global climate deal that keeps global warming well below 2 degrees. A simple but significant environmental action that the UK and other countries can take, with the added benefit of improved health, would be to endorse Meat Free Monday.
Reducing demand for meat, even by a relatively small amount, would have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, according to new research by the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, UN member countries can reduce their carbon emissions up to 2% per year by implementing Meat Free Monday.
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There are a number of simple ways to encourage meat reduction, many of which have already been adopted in different countries around the world:
· Have schools, universities and hospitals go meat free one day a week
· Serve more meat free meals at government offices and during official government functions
· Encourage restaurants to promote Meat Free Monday options on their menus
· Support businesses to get involved
The proposals we are making can be implemented quickly and would have almost immediate environmental – and health – benefits.
We strongly urge you to include Meat Free Monday initiatives in the UK climate action plan for Paris. One day a week can make a world of difference.
Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney
Watch the accompanying video via YouTube, below:
You can read McCartney’s previous comments on the campaign, made in 2012, here.