World News

China is urging people to eat less meat — which could have a big climate impact

In the US, the Obama administration has been reluctant to encourage people to eat less meat for health and environmental reasons. The 2015 US Dietary Guidelines, for instance, remained fairly muted on the topic after fierce lobbying by the meat industry.

But in China, where livestock emissions are soaring and obesity is on the rise, officials are being far less circumspect. The Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS) is now enlisting celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, director James Cameron, and actress Li Bingbing in a nationwide campaign urging people to cut their meat consumption in half — in line with new dietary recommendations. The campaign, taglined “Less Meat, Less Heat, More Life,” will tout the climate benefits of lower meat consumption and feature PSAs on billboards and televisions across China. We’ll see how it goes, but even a partway successful “less meat” campaign could have a surprisingly large impact on global warming. A new report from WildAid, which is partnering with the campaign, crunches some numbers. Right now the average Chinese person eats about 170 grams of beef, pork, poultry, and lamb a day. China’s latest health guidelines, crafted by CNS and the Ministry of Health, advise cutting back to 75 grams a day.

If all 1.3 billion people in China were to follow this advice — a big “if,” but just to illustrate — global agricultural emissions would drop 12 percent. That, in turn, would cause total greenhouse gas emissions to fall roughly 1.5 percent, more than the entire annual output of France and Belgium combined. And the savings would get bigger and bigger over the next few decades. We’d get about one-twelfth of the emission cuts needed to stay below 2°C, the report calculates. It doesn’t have to entail going full vegetarian — even just whittling down portions can make a dent.

The average Chinese person eats half as much meat as the average American each year. But because there are 1.3 billion people in China, total meat consumption is enormous — and growing fast. China already consumes twice as much meat as the United States. By 2030, it’s expected to be triple. The livestock needed to support those diets have a considerable climate footprint. Cows and sheep release lots of methane through “enteric fermentation” — burps, mostly — and their manure. Plus, there’s land use, the energy needed for farming, and so on. All told, emissions from livestock are estimated to be some 14.5 percent of the global total.

As a 2015 report from Chatham House points out, the type of animal makes a big difference. Beef and lamb produce the most greenhouse gases per kilogram of meat produced. Chickens, which convert feed more efficiently and use less land, produce just a fraction of the amount. As China gets richer, the country has also seen a rise in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and so on. So health officials have been pushing healthier diets: more fruits and veggies, less meat, etc.



World Scenario


With over 65 billion animals being raised for meat every year 40% of the world’s grain production is fed to animals rather than feeding human beings. Almost 50% of Maize produced in the world is fed to animals. Maize is the staple food of Africa. Overgrazing and methane gas released by billions of animals is damaging our planet and causing global warming. With the world population expected to grow to 9.5 billion by 2050, mass starvation will take place unless meat consumption is replaced with a vegetarian diet.

Any wonder then that the world is rediscovering the merits of vegetarianism now!

Why Plant based diet?


Vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular in the world today. While many make the choice for health or religious reasons there are many others who want to support animal welfare or conserve natural resources. Whether it is for ethical reasons or promoting animal rights, switching to a vegetarian diet ensures lesser carbon emissions thereby helping the environment greatly. What are the compelling benefits of adhering to a vegetarian diet?

Better Health

Medical practitioners today vouch for the benefits of a plant based diet as it is a sure shot way to combat many diseases, build resistance, fight ageing and above all stay healthy.

Weight Loss

A food that is made of whole nutrient rich grains and cereals is not only nutritious but also helps in keeping us healthy. As we feel full there are less food cravings and we do not tend to indulge in junk food. throughout the day.

Avoids Mood Swings

Food that comprises of vegetables and fruits actually improves our mood and helps us stay a lot more fresh and alert


Some Useful Terms

Vegans or strict vegetarians exclude all animal products (e.g. meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products). Many vegans also do not eat honey.

Lacto vegetarians exclude meat, poultry, fish, and eggs but include dairy products.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians exclude meat, poultry, and fish but include dairy
products and eggs.

Popular Vegans/ Vegetarians


Some famous personalities who have followed a vegetarian diet are:

  • Abdul Kalam Dr. President of India and Space Scientist
  • Abraham Lincoln, former President of the United States
  • Adam Russell, bassist of Story of the Year
  • Al Gore, politician, advocate and philanthropist,
  • Alan Donohue, singer of British rock band The Rakes
  • Alan Ford, actor, British
  • Albert Einstein, renowned scientist
  • Albert Schweitzer, theologian, philosopher, and physician
  • Alec Baldwin, actor and animal rights advocate
  • Amitabh Bachchan, Indian celebrity superstar
  • Anna Nicole Smith, actress, model
  • Anne Hathaway, actress
  • Annie Lennox, singer and songwriter
  • Anoushka Shankar, musician and sitar virtuoso
  • Aristotle, Greek philosopher
  • Ashley Judd, actress
  • Aubrey Chandler, actress
  • Benjamin Franklin, author, politician, and scientist
  • Benjamin Spock, M.D., pediatrician,
  • Bill Clinton, former American President
  • Billie Jean King, tennis player
  • Billie Joe Armstrong, musician and singer of Greenday
  • Bob Dylan, singer, songwriter, and musician
  • Bob Marley, musician and reggae legend
  • Boy George, singer
  • Brad Pitt, actor
  • Brigitte Bardot, French actress
  • Brooke Shields, actress
  • Bruce Springsteen, musician, singer and songwriter
  • Bryan Adams, singer and songwriter,
  • Carl Lewis, athlete
  • Carlos Santana, musician and guitar player
  • Charles Darwin, renowned scientist
  • Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton
  • Cheryl Cole, singer of the Girls Aloud
  • Claudia Schiffer, super model
  • Dalai Lama, Spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Deepak Chopra, author and doctor
  • George Harrison, musician of the Beatles
  • George Bernard Shaw, writer
  • Leonardo Da Vinci- Painter
  • Thomas Alva Edison- Scientist
  • Mahatma Gandhi- leader

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Plant based diet and Medical Science


Medical science has proved that diet is the main culprit for many diseases. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for many chronic degenerative diseases like obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer. A healthy vegetarian diet is free from animal fat and cholesterol, on the other hand, it is rich in fiber and antioxidants. Many food borne illnesses can be avoided. Weight watchers will do well to stick to a vegetarian diet. It is wholesome and full of nutrition.

Animals are fed with grains to end up on lunch plates, this can certainly be saved and we will be reducing the burden on natural resources. A Vegetarian diet is not only attractive but also colorful, look at the bowels of nature. It yields a diet that is rich in color and nutrition. Sathvic diet that is spoken of highly in Hinduism is highly energy giving and helps the eaters to ward off lethargy, be brisk and high on energy throughout the day.