Chris Darwin launches meat free app

Ancestor of Charles Darwin sets out to help world evolve to a greener diet

Chris Darwin and boy in flower field and image of the Darwin Challenge app

Evolution is a wonderful thing: humans used to grunt to communicate and now use social media and smartphone apps; they used to hunt mammoths and now eat farmed animals … but that could be about to change, thanks to the efforts of someone who has forged a link between the modern world and the origin of the species.

Chris Darwin, the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, the Victorian naturalist and author of The Descent of Man, has created an app to encourage people to eat less meat – a “positive evolution”, as he calls it. Launched to coincide with World Meat Free Day today, the Darwin Challenge app is available for free on Apple’s App Store and is designed to help people cut down on their consumption by showing them the very real benefits to them and the planet.

It starts by asking users to choose how many meat free days they would like to enjoy each week, then sends them reminders and records their successes. You can use it to track progress in real time and find out how eating less meat is improving your health and that of the planet. Once you’ve tucked into your meat free meal, the app can show you how much longer you’re likely to live, how many living creatures you’ve saved and how much your environmental impact has been reduced.

“Globally, we intend to inspire a million meat free days,” said Chris Darwin, chief executive and co-founder of the Darwin Challenge. “Our first step is to encourage more people to eat less meat. By showing the direct benefits, measured across 10 key metrics, the Darwin Challenge app demonstrates what an incredible difference our meat free days can make. The app encourages users to reduce their consumption of meat, advocating meat free days each week, to help improve our health and wellbeing, while also benefiting the planet and animal welfare.”

The app’s creators point out that concerns for the environment, animal welfare and human rights has already led to meat consumption per person dropping by 4 per cent in EU countries, 10 per cent in the US and 12 per cent in Canada. “The Darwin Challenge app has been created for those of you who have one or more meat free days a week,” they say. “This life-giving app rewards you, by showing you how your meat free days are improving your health and your world. Small acts, big impacts.”

Download the app at thedarwinchallenge.org