Meat and climate change: What's the connection?
MANILA, Philippines – The act of eating together is an important ingredient in Filipino culture. Whenever there are occasions to celebrate, people to meet, or it’s just another Friday night, food is almost always involved. In fact, enjoying a great meal is such a priority that food is the number one splurge for Filipinos during payday.
Now, ask yourself: how many of those meals involved meat? If your answer is all of them, then surprise, surprise – you’re inadvertently contributing to climate change.
Here’s a reality check: meat production and consumption accounts for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Food production, which includes agriculture and livestock, is the second biggest GHG-emitting sector, next to energy.
It’s easy to overlook the consequences of something as commonplace and seemingly innocuous as eating meat. Before you ask for another medium-rare steak or bite into that next juicy burger, be aware of how meat production and consumption contributes to climate change.
While these facts are alarming, it doesn’t mean everyone should give up meat forever. The livestock industry creates livelihood for many people and meat is an important and delicious part of Pinoy food culture. Instead of taking drastic (and perhaps unsustainable) measures, you can help mitigate climate change by simply reducing the amount of meat you consume on a daily basis. You can start by participating in World Meat-free Day on June 13. All you have to do on that day is replace one meal with any meat-free dish.
- Enough carbon emissions to boil a kettle 388 times
- Up to 11g of fat or 2 tbsp of butter
- The daily water usage of 9 people
- Up to 90 calories
Rappler will be conducting a Twitter conversation during #WorldMeatFreeDay on June 13. We’ll be sharing tips and facts on meat and climate change, and gathering social posts on how people are participating in the event. Join us! – Rappler.com