Well it was no news to me, but the piece that caught my attention was his specific reference to meat consumption and that it was contributing greatly to our global emissions.
As more and more people eat bigger quantities of meat, they increase their carbon footprint in many ways from the mass production of livestock. Here is an extract of the transcript from the interview so that you can understand what I am on about.
Dr Pachauri said the public too has a role to play in reducing emissions and that eating one less meat meal a week was a significant way for humans to reduce their carbon footprint. He said he believed the world is consuming far too much meat and believes an important factor in the climate change debate is diet.
“I’m not asking people to become vegetarians, all I’m saying is that lifestyle changes are going to be extremely important and one place to start would be with diet. I’m telling everybody to reduce consumption of meat, because you would be healthier and so would the planet. It would make an enormous difference and it also makes a very powerful statement that human beings are prepared to change their lifestyles,” said Dr Pachauri.
“Often I’m asked the question where would we get our proteins from…and I tell people that there are two specialists you might consult on deriving proteins from plant material. One of them is called an elephant and the other is called a horse. If they can get enough proteins from plant material, so can human beings,” he said.
“Livestock are one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gases according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. By having just one meat-free day a week individuals can dramatically reduce their carbon footprint, help to slow global warming and lessen their impact on the natural environment,” he added.
Since Kim, our kids and I started our journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle, we have about 3-4 meat free days a week. It has been quite a simple transition, mainly because once we found how abundant our garden is, we didn’t want to waste any of it. So it was off to do a little research on delicious dishes to prepare with vegetables and dairy products and eggs. Yes, we still eat dairy and eggs, and haven’t taken the vegan route, as we have chooks and as you have probably guessed by now, I love to make cheese!
We could probably do more, but seeing that Dr Pachauri suggests having just one meet free day a week, I reckon we are doing all right!
So for this week, which just happens to be National Vegetarian Week, I have pledged to try veg (not that I don’t already). If anyone is thinking of giving it a go, which I wholeheartedly support, you could do no worse than trying my wonderful Chickpea and Potato Curry, that has won the hearts of hundreds of meat eaters and top it off with my equally famous Brinjal Pickle.
I urge you to pledge to go veg just for one meal this week. You may even suprise yourself and your family by making the best and tastiest meal you have had in months. Eating vegetarian is more interesting than just eating a veggie burger at the golden arches! You will discover a enormous world of culenary delights that will tantilise your tastebuds. We did, and we will never look back.
Fighting the effects of climate change has never been so simple and enjoyable.