Date: 11 Jun 2018
Author: The Vegan Society Aotearoa
Kiwis eat over 70 kg of meat per annum and it’s killing our planet.
World Meat Free Week kicks off in New Zealand today (11th -17th June) and the seven day global initiative encouraging people to improve the health of our planet, by the simple act of going meat free, is supported by New Zealand Vegan Society. The initiative supports a “less is best” approach to eating meat, encouraging consumption of a greater variety of plant-based foods instead- for the sake of our own health and the well-being of our planet.
When one person takes part in World Meat Free Week by eating meat-free for ONE meal across the seven days, they will be:
• Saving the equivalent daily water usage of nine people
• Seeing a carbon saving equivalent to boiling a kettle 388 times
• Having a fat saving of 11 gm.
Experts have predicted that by 2050 the world’s population is set to increase to over 9 billion people. That’s 30% higher than today. If we don’t make changes to our diet today, then the increase in meat production is predicted to reach 200 million tonnes, and that’s a demand the world cannot meet.
According to the UN report on OECD countries and meat consumption in 2017, Kiwis ranked amongst the highest of world-wide meat eaters, consuming 72.2 kg of land -mammals. That’s a figure that does not include fish.
A new study published in the journal Science details the largest-ever analysis of the impact that food production has on the planet. The study concluded that ditching or reducing animal products in the diet and in commodities is the single most effective way to reduce one’s environmental impact.
Research says vegan food can slow climate change, as plant-based foods require significantly fewer resources to produce than animal-based foods and emit far fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally a new report published by The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited has revealed that our Chinese neighbours are actively reducing their meat consumption due to health and environmental concerns. The report noted that thirty-nine percent of Chinese consumers are now reducing their meat intake in favour of vegetables, tofu, and plant-based meat substitutes; a trend that is also set to impact the New Zealand export market.
New Zealanders can make a pledge during World Meat Free Week to benefit their own health and the environment, by going to World Meat Free Week