What will you give up for Lent this year?
Some of the most common things that people (try to) give up are chocolate, alcohol, sweets, fizzy drinks and coffee.
But I have an alternative suggestion: beef.
This is because the production of beef has significant environmental impacts. In fact, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have gone so far as to label beef as a ‘climate harmful meat’.
There are several reasons for this but, in a concise summary, when compared with other meats, beef production not only requires 28x more land and 11x more water but it also produces 5x more greenhouse gas emissions.
Perhaps most poignant is that the production of beef is contributing to poverty and hunger: we live in a world that grows enough food to feed 10 billion people yet the inefficiencies in our global system mean that so much of this is going to feed cattle instead of the world’s poorest.
I gave up beef as one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2017 and it is surprisingly easier than I thought it would be.
However if you can’t imagine a life without beef then it’s worth looking to minimise your environmental impact through buying sustainably and responsibly sourced beef from local farmers if possible.
Let me know your thoughts and how you get on in the comments section below!