June 15, 2009
Paul McCartney, the former Beatle and vegetarian pop star, asked fans to go meatless on Mondays to help slow global warming by reducing the amount of gaseous emissions from farm animals.
[efoods]Cows, pigs and sheep bred for human consumption discharge millions of tons of methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Livestock accounts for about 18 percent of greenhouse gases, more than all the world’s cars, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has said.
“If you want to fight climate change, it’s not only about electricity and coal-fired power plants: Agriculture is a huge contributor too and meat consumption is a big problem,” Jan van Aken, a biologist and agriculture campaigner for the Greenpeace environmental group, said today in a telephone interview from Hamburg. It’s “mainly burps” and animal flatulence, he said.
Supported in his cause by celebrity chefs and Hollywood actors, McCartney said in a statement today that skipping meat a day a week is a “meaningful” change everyone can make to their lifestyles to help the environment. Less consumption may lead to fewer animals reared, and so emissions would fall.