Next week is National Vegetarian Week, so be prepared for a larger than usual number of examples of people seeking to inform you of the environmental, health and ethical arguments in favour of eating less meat.
As I mentioned around the time of Earth Hour, going without meat for a week has far greater greenhouse benefits than turning your lights off (although every bit of positive behavioural change helps of course). Rajendra Pachauri, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently gave an explicit message to this effect during a speech in London.
“The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” he told BBC News. “So I want to highlight the fact that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider.”
I’m speaking at a public gathering at Reddacliff Place (at the top of the Queens St Mall) in Brisbane on Saturday 4th October. According to this website, so will Qld Labor MP Ronan Lee and Paralympian, Marayke Jonkers.
If you’re interested in looking at some of the detailed scientific outline about the severe greenhouse impacts of meat and dairy production, I recommend this submission to the Garnaut Review, by Geoff Russell, Prof Peter Singer and Prof Barry Brook, who is the Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Adelaide (and has his own blog on the topic at bravenewclimate.com)