Meat Free Monday

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We believe that by making a simple change in the way we all eat, we can have a positive and meaningful impact on our environment. That’s why we’re big supporters of Meat Free Monday, an environmental campaign which raises awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption.

Scientists agree that we need to reduce the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere by 80% by 2050 to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. No single action will achieve this – government and individuals need to work together.

The Meat Free Monday campaign seeks to highlight the link between meat consumption/production and climate change, and to encourage people to meaningfully reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by having at least one meat-free day every week. It’s a simple way for everyone to significantly reduce their emissions, and together we could have a big impact.

Launched by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney in June 2009, the campaign has been endorsed by a wide range of individuals and organisations including Nobel prize-winner Al Gore, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Sir David King, Zac Goldsmith, Katherine Hamnett, Chris Martin, Yoko Ono, Puma, the New Economics Foundation, 10:10 (another great environmental campaign that we’re involved with) and many more.

The objectives of the MFM campaign:

  • To create a movement of people who understand the need to reduce meat consumption and who are willing to become ambassadors for the MFM message
  • To provide support in the form of practical alternatives to meat-based meals
  • To partner with other organisations whose values and goals align with ours
  • To make going meat-free for at least one day a week an aspiration rather than an imposition

Meat Free Monday engages with the public through events, through its various digital platforms (website, Facebook, Twitter) and through partnership with like-minded companies and organisations. Launched by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney in June 2009, the campaign has been endorsed by a wide range of individuals and organisations including Vice President Al Gore, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Sir David King, Zac Goldsmith, Katherine Hamnett, Chris Martin, Yoko Ono, Puma, the New Economics Foundation, 10:10 and many more.

Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit organisation, impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or corporation.

The facts about livestock and climate change

  • On a global scale the meat industry generates nearly a fifth of the man-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are accelerating climate change. The UN estimates that this is more than the entire transport sector..
  • Raising livestock accounts for 37% of methane caused by human activity. Methane has 23 times the global warming potential of CO2
  • Eating less meat can help prevent climate change by slowing deforestation. One hectare of Amazon rainforest is lost to cattle ranchers every 18 seconds. That’s six football pitches of ancient forest destroyed every minute to create room for grazing cattle.
  • Meat and dairy products make up a third of humanity's protein intake, and demand is growing fast. In 2008, global meat consumption was 280 million tonnes per year; by 2050 it is expected to reach 465 million tonnes. More livestock means more GHGs.
  • If the average UK household halved its consumption of meat, this would cut more emissions that if they cut their car use in half.
  • Reducing meat consumption saves precious water. The estimated 634 gallons of fresh water required to produce a single beef burger would be enough for a four-hour shower.
  • It can take up to 10kg of grain to make 1kg of beef. In a world where nearly a billion people are starving, a third of all cereal crops, and well over 90% of soya, goes into animal feed - not food for humans. Producing and eating less meat can free up these crops for human consumption.

Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit organisation, impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or corporation.

Want to find out more about how going meat-free can cut greenhouse gases and help to feed the world’s hungry?
Follow this link - Meat Free Monday

Further reading

Steinfeld, H. et al. Livestock’s long shadow: Environmental issues and options. Rome, Italy: Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, 2006.
“Slaughtering the Amazon”. Greenpeace International. June 2009.
Global Warning: climate change and farm animal welfare. Compassion in World Farming, 2008.