Chinese officials recently announced dietary guidelines aimed at cutting its citizens’ meat consumption by 50 per cent, which would benefit both human health and the environment.
Taking a cue from China’s move, now People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take similar steps to pave the way for sustainable environment in India.
PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura said in her letter to the Prime Minister that if the new guidelines be followed, carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from China’s livestock industry would be reduced by 1bn tonnes by 2030, from a projected 1.8bn tonnes in that year.
According to PETA, cutting down meat consumption will also save animal lives, reduce heart ailments and certain types of cancer, besides helping avoid the effects of climate change.
The organisation said numerous studies have shown a strong correlation between animal-derived foods and climate change, with meat-eaters responsible for almost 2.5 times diet-related greenhouse-gas emissions per day compared to vegans.
China’s new dietary guidelines recommend that the nation’s 1.3 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health.
The Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS) has also enlisted celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, director James Cameron, and actress Li Bingbing in a nationwide campaign urging people to cut their meat consumption in half.
Internationally, 14.5 per cent of planet-warming emissions emanate from the keeping and eating of cows, chickens, pigs and other animals. Livestock emit methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, while land clearing and fertilizers release large quantities of carbon.