World Meat Free Week is to encourage people to stop eating meat for seven days to help combat climate change. How will it help combat climate change? Here are the facts:
- Believe it or not, livestock releases as much greenhouse gases as all motor vehicles, ships, and planes worldwide. More specifically, 18% of global CO2 emissions.
- On a 20 year timeframe, cattle agriculture, in particular, is responsible for approximately 80% of methane emissions. Which is even more harmful as methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2. That’s about 150 billion gallons of methane per day from just cows.
- Livestock is responsible for 65% of human-related emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with 297 times the global warming potential of CO2 which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.
This means that by eating more plant-based meals, we are helping to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock industry. Throughout the globe, the livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector. What’s even more alarming is that emissions from agriculture are expected to rise 80% by 2050. Scary thought, right?
Over a quarter of the earth’s landmass is currently being used for livestock grazing, which in turn is causing substantial deforestation. But wait, that’s not all – the livestock business is also the single largest consumer and polluter of the worlds freshwater supply. To have a better idea, this is how many litres of water it takes to produce the following:
- Beef (0.45 kg): 6,813 litres
- Milk (3.7 litres): 7,570 litres
Making a change in your diet from meat to plant-based alternatives is also greatly beneficial to human health. It’s no secret that high consumption of red meat, which is actually the number one most climate-damaging meat, is linked to various health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.
Eating less meat is a small change that creates a big difference to your health and our planet. So why not start to reduce your meat intake now? It’s never too late to start! This week is the perfect opportunity to think about how much meat you eat and the impact of eating too much meat has on the environment. We’re not advocating that everyone should automatically adopt a meatless diet, but we do want to encourage people to at least be “meat consciousness” and reduce the amount of your annual meat intake.
Even if you’re already a vegetarian or vegan living a plant-based diet, you can still get involved by spreading the word of World Meat Free Week or even arrange a gathering where your friends and family bring a vegetarian or vegan dish. Let’s encourage healthy food so we can live on a healthy planet!
On June 11th, the first day of World Meat Free Week, people all throughout the world will be taking action and celebrating. So for inspiration to start off your week meat-free, we’ve put together a plant-based recipe that you can enjoy with your entire family. Try it out!
- 6 medium eggplants
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 sweet bell peppers
- 250g tomato paste or 2-3 big tomatoes
- 2 large carrots
- 1-2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1-2 – cup water
- * If you prefer a spicy dish, 1-2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Green Tip: When you buy the vegetables for this recipe, don’t forget to use our Reusable Produce Bags that are available here on our online Eco Shop
Less plastic bags also helps to keep our planet healthy!
- Heat the olive oil in large pot over medium heat.
- Add chopped onions until softened (about 5 minutes.).
- Add grated carrots, chopped bell peppers and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add garlic, chopped eggplants, sweet potatoes, tomato paste or chopped tomatoes, and cook for 10 minutes, or until eggplants are tender (but not mushy).
- Add 1 cup water and boil. Use a wooden spoon to stir the juices from the bottom of the pan, add salt, black pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot until the vegetables are tender (about 25 min), stirring once or twice.
- Turn off the stove and add the parsley, then let it sit for about 15-20 minutes, then serve.
It’s even more delicious when served the next day 😉
Let us know if you tried to make this recipe by writing a comment below. Was it easy to make? Did you like the taste? We’d love to hear your thoughts!