We celebrate World Meat Free Day: here is why

By : Eating Better
Jun 12, 2017

Most people underestimate how much impact reducing meat consumption can have on the planet. Eating Better is a proud partner of World Meat Free Day. Today we join forces with many other organisations to encourage as many people as possible to go meat free for a day and wise up to the benefits. It's a small step for each of us, but together we can have a big impact.

World Meat Free Day (12th June) is back and as in previous years, Eating Better is a proud partner of the global campaign to encourage the world to eat better by reducing their intake of meat.

We – and many of our alliance organisations – are joining with celebrity supporters including the likes of Joanna Lumley, musician Mike Joyce, and Chris Darwin (great great grandson of Charles Darwin) to raise as much awareness as possible of the environmental and health benefits of eating less meat and show just how easy it is to take part. By going meat-free for one day everyone can kick start a new approach, eating less and choosing better quality meat, as well as incorporating a greater variety of vegetables, grains, pulses and plant based foods into their diets. 

We’re asking individuals and organisations to pledge their support on World Meat Free Day website and via social media #worldmeatfreeday plus inviting everyone to try one of the great meat-free recipes available on the website.

World Meat Free Day is steadily gathering momentum worldwide. This year’s drive comes off the back of two hugely successful years for the campaign. 2016 saw World Meat Free Day trend for 36 hours on Twitter, reaching over 84 million people. Eating Better’s latest research shows a growing public awareness of the environmental impact of our diet, which is driving the shift to ‘flexitarian’ eating. Increasing numbers of restaurants, supermarkets and high street chains are responding to this burgeoning market and providing a better, more varied selection of healthier and more sustainable plant-rich options. 

Yet most people underestimate how much impact reducing meat consumption can have on the planet. The WMFD Sustainability Calculator shows that if just 1 person ate just 1 meat free meal today, they could save the equivalent of 9 people’s daily water usage and a carbon saving equivalent of boiling a kettle 388 times.

For the entire UK population this would add up to a saving of:

  • The carbon equivalent of the annual power use of 12,600 households – that’s the entire population of West Somerset
  • The land saving of 24,150 football pitches
  • The water equivalent of 4,426 Olympic sized swimming pools
  • 5.8 billion calories – that’s 11.5 million Bic Macs

Sue Dibb, Coordinator of the Eating Better Alliance, says: “Many people are already finding that eating less meat is a simple way to eat healthily that's better for the environment too. Our latest research shows that flexitarian eating is now a major trend with 44% of the British public willing or already committed to cutting down on their meat eating. We’re delighted to support World Meat Free Day to spread the word to many more people around the world." 


For more info, have a look at the the World Meat Free Day website.

View the #Change It Music Video here.

Eating Better News and Comment is a space to report and comment on relevant issues and activities.
We also invite guest contributors to contribute articles and opinions. Please contact us with suggestions and feedback.

The blog is written by members of the Eating Better team and external contributors.