The consequences of global warming such as droughts, floods and melting glaciers to name a few, have already been experienced by many people. Wildlife has not been left behind either. According to WWF climate change will be one of the greatest causes of extinction of many animal species. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says a 1.5°C average rise in temperature may put 20-30% of species at risk of extinction. If the planet warms by more than 3°C, most ecosystems will struggle1. Climate change will affect everyone, but could a vegetarian diet really save our planet? According to research, by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 63 percent or even 70 percent if we all turned vegan. 2
Do you recycle but eat meat? Think twice.
Currently, meat production is the biggest single emitter of greenhouse gasses and if we do not make any changes, things can get pretty dark. Greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gasses do not allow heat to escape from the atmosphere. As a result, we are facing climate change caused by constantly increasing temperatures.
Perhaps for those who cannot give up on meat so easily, the answer lies in science and technology. Maybe one day we will be able to buy man-made ‘meat’ that grows in in a laboratory. In the meantime, if you cannot give up meat completely you could begin from joining a global Meatless Monday movement1. Also, be aware of your surroundings – remember to recycle and reuse products and packaging, cycle or use public transport, remember to turn off electric appliances and change your light bulbs!
Did you know?
- Livestock emissions account for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- By 2050, accounting for increases in population, the food sector could account for half of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Eating meat generates almost twice as many greenhouse gas emissions per day as being vegetarian, generating 15.8 pounds of carbon dioxide (or equivalent) compared with just 8 pounds!
- Widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet could cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 63%, and a vegan diet by 70%.
Tomi’s Vegetarian Challenge: Day 3
Once again I had granola, yoghurt and fruit (blueberries) for breakfast. The good news is that I am having breakfast and not skimping on it. I think breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy to take the world.
It was Louise's (IGGY team member) turn to bring in vegetarian lunch for everyone at IGGY HQ. It was yum!
I must say I haven't missed meat much so far. This makes me think I don't actually eat as much meat as I fantasize about.
Dinner: vegetable-egg fried rice.
Recipe of the day
5 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp vegetable bouillon
Smoke the aubergine on an open flame for around 5 minutes. Rotate regularly.
Meanwhile, chop 2 shallots and a small handful of ginger into fine long slices.
Finely dice 5 cloves of garlic.
Slice around 100g mushrooms, half a red pepper and half a green pepper.
Once the aubergine is soft to touch place it into a bowl and half cover with boiling water.
Heat the shallots, garlic and ginger in the pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Add 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp tomato puree, half tsp of vegetable bouillon.
Add a pinch of salt and a splash of boiling water, then cook through until the oil splits out.
Add some more boiling water and cook through again.
Peel the charred skin from the aubergine. Keep the bowl of water as this will become your stock for cooking.
Peel as much as possible then place the aubergine (whole) into the pan.
Add the peppers and mushrooms, then mix.
Add 1 tbsp of tomato puree for colour and flavour.
Cook the mix for around 10 minutes, adding the aubergine stock to your preferred consistency.
Serve with wedges of lemon or lime, coriander and chapatis.
University of Warwick
For me, giving up meat and other animal products was a natural development of growing as a human being. At the end of the day, we are all earthlings sharing one planet. Eating plant-based food is the matter of respect towards animals and the environment. We should not utilise our skills, knowledge and technological advances as a permission to cause harm to others, purely for a personal and/or economic gain. The only way to live sustainably is for us to live in harmony with nature and all its produce.