Happy World Meat Free Day!

Second annual celebration takes the meat free message global, kicking off with the slogan ‘One small step for our planet’

World Meat Free Day logo and map othe world made of fruit and vegetables

It’s World Meat Free Day again, giving those who aren’t regular MFMers a chance to learn about and sample the delights of eating less meat, and those who are the chance to spread the word even further – around the globe, in fact! If you’re not already in the habit of boasting about your meat-reducing ways, then today is the day to start.

While this is only the second time the occasion has been celebrated, its very existence is proof of the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan eating, and an indicator too of how successfully campaigns such as MFM have penetrated the cultural consciousness. It’s no coincidence World Meat Free Day is held on a Monday! A new report for World Meat Day, We Will Live As We Will Eat, on our future dietary habits also suggests a move “in the general direction of reduced meat consumption and falling social approval for meat”.

Like MFM, the global day aims to show people how easy it can be to go for just one meal without meat, with the hope that those who give it a try will make meat free meals a regular part of their diet. With such a wealth of delicious meat free grub around these days – not to mention the growing body of scientific evidence about the unhealthiness of eating meat – it’s a wonder anyone needs convincing. For those who do, however, the World Meat Free Day website explains that giving up meat for just one meal means saving: enough carbon emissions to boil a kettle 388 times; the daily water usage of nine people; up to 11g of fat and up to 90 calories.

It offers plenty of other handy online tools too, including a restaurant finder and a “sustainability calculator”, to show in real terms how eating less meat can help the planet. For example, if the population of the UK – 64.1 million people – were to tuck into a single meat free meal a day over the course of a year, it would save carbon equivalent to the annual power usage of 4.5 million households and free up land equivalent to the size of 8.6 million football pitches. That’s something to think about during the Euro 2016 tournament!

According to World Meat Free Day: “We want to raise awareness of the benefits of eating less meat for a healthier, balanced diet that’s better for our planet and fairer to our food systems too. With the population set to rise by over 30 per cent by 2050, the demand for meat simply cannot be met. That’s why we need your help more than ever.”

Visit the World Meat Free Day website and pledge your support.