Back in November 2006 the UN published a study that concluded "Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars."
The calls to action that the UN attached to the 2006 study primarily focused on better factory farming methods. But no one from the UN was publicly recommending that the world eat less meat.
But that all changed this past weekend.
Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Prize winner and chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has announced that if we as a world society want to get serious about climate change, we must eat less meat.
Although eating less meat was always implied by the UN, no formal statements were ever issued. Considering that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world authority on global warming, you can bet that this is the boldest action challenge ever issued on the topic of warming to date.
You can also bet that there are thousands of meat lobbyist around the world who are totally pissed!
People should have one meat-free day a week if they want to make a
personal and effective sacrifice that would help tackle climate change,
the world's leading authority on global warming has told The Observer.
Pachauri, who was re-elected the panel's chairman for a second six-year
term last week, said diet change was important because of the huge
greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems - including
habitat destruction - associated with rearing cattle and other animals.
It was relatively easy to change eating habits compared to changing
means of transport, he said.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that meat
production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas
emissions. These are generated during the production of animal feeds,
for example, while ruminants, particularly cows, emit methane, which is
23 times more effective as a global warming agent than carbon dioxide.
The agency has also warned that meat consumption is set to double by
the middle of the century.
'In terms of immediacy of action and
the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time,
it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,' said Pachauri. 'Give up
meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there,' said
the Indian economist, who is a vegetarian.
Who would have ever expected that an international organization, or
even a national one for that matter, would have ever taken a public
stand on food and how it effects our planet?
And can I get some love for my vegetarian Indian brother? Big ups to Dr Rajendra Pachauri and his team for all the amazing work they are doing.