Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing.
The campaign encourages people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week.
Food for thought
- Almost a third of all land on Earth is used for livestock production.
- A third of all cereal crops, and more than 95% of soy, is turned into feed for farmed animals.
- An area of rainforest the size of a hundred football pitches is cut down every hour to create room for grazing cattle.
- It can take 2,350 litres of fresh water – that’s about 30 bathtubs! – to produce just one beef burger.
- The Worldwatch Institute estimates that a staggering 70% of the world’s freshwater supplies goes towards agriculture – a third of this to grow animal feed crops.
- According to scientists at the United Nations, livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Other scientists say the percentage is even higher!
- Skipping meat for one day a week can reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as not driving your car for a whole month.
- A 2020 Oxford University study found that, even if harmful greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels were stopped immediately, it would be impossible to keep global heating to the lowest safe limit without a shift to a more plant-based diet.
- Around 60% of the world’s agricultural land is used for beef production, yet beef produces less than 5% of the world’s protein and less than 2% of its calories.
- Agricultural intensification and expansion, and overfishing, are major factors in loss of species and biodiversity – if present trends continue, over the next 100 years or so there will be a global mass extinction of species.
Having at least one plant-based day a week is a fun and easy way to do something good for the planet and our future. Why not give it a try?