Being vegetarian will not necessarily help…

My top priority for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has always been my vegetarian diet, as meat is one of the biggest causes of global warming, and inequality across the world. If you were going to give anything up, in order of preference for GHG emissions….

  1. Beef consumption – estimated at 32 kg CO2e/kg of beef, if you are choosing random bits of beef from anywhere in the world, and a lot of our beef eaten in Britain comes from Argentina. British beef is still one of the worst things you can choose to eat, at around 12.14 kg CO2e/kg.
  2. Lamb consumption – estimated at 14.61 kg CO2e/kg for UK lamb, this is still producing methane.
  3. Pig products – 4.45 kg CO2e/kg, so lower carbon than the beef or lamb, and it is improved when they are battery farmed.
  4. Turkey – 3.76 kgCO2e/kg
  5. Chicken – 2.84 kg CO2e/kg, so lowest of most meat products.

This does not take in to account any conservation requirements, but  the figures are quite stark. The reason that vegetarians should be wary is the replacement of meat with dairy, which still has the major issues of methane production and animal fodder requirements.

According to Tesco…

  1. Butter and cheese – 8-12 kg CO2e/kg
  2. Milk – whole 0.9 kgCO2/pint
  3. Milk – semi-skimmed 0.8 kg CO2e/pint
  4. Milk – skimmed 0.7 kg CO2e/pint

TOP TIPS –

REDUCE MEAT CONSUMPTION AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. IF YOU MUST EAT MEAT, OPT FOR CHICKEN OR PIG, WITH SHEEP AND COW SAVED FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS.

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