Why eat less or no meat?

This translated text is from www.flexitarier.nl

Why should I eat less meat? 

If everyone in the Netherlands ate plant-based meat substitutes instead of meat two days a week, this would save the equivalent of the CO2 emissions of 570,000 cars per year. What’s more, it is better for your health, the environment, nature and animal welfare.

As a flexitarian you eat no meat on one or more days every week. You preferably eat plant-based alternatives on these days. This is:

• Better for your health: reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

• Better for the environment and nature: fewer greenhouse gas emissions, less deforestation and a reduction in the loss of nature, energy and water consumption and the manure surplus.

• Better for animal welfare: more space for animals, fewer animal diseases and less animal suffering..

CO2 FootprintAt least two earths

By 2050, there are expected to be 9 billion people on earth. What’s more, people in poor countries will be richer than they are now, which means that they will be able to eat more meat. If all these people start to eat meat according to Western standards, by 2050 we will need at least two earths in order to meet their needs!

Did you know that…

• global livestock farming contributes 12% towards global greenhouse gas emissions?

• global livestock farming contributes 30% towards the global loss of animal and plant species on land?

• the production of 1 kilo of Dutch beef generates the same CO2 emissions as 169 kilometres driven by car? Plus the production of 1 kilo of Dutch beef requires a substantial back garden of agricultural land (47 m2)? A kilo of Brazilian beef requires as much as 289 m2.

• the amount of manure produced by all the cattle in the Netherlands could be used to dump a 2.5-metre deep layer of manure in all gardens in the Netherlands?

• the amount of water required to produce all the meat eaten in the Netherlands is equivalent to 13 times the annual water consumption of all Dutch households combined?

• the consumption of a large amount of red meat and processed meat leads to a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases? The risk of heart disease such as a heart attack is 37% lower in male vegetarians compared to male non-vegetarians.

• research has shown that the consumption of large amounts of red meat leads to a significantly higher risk of cancer of the intestines, oesophagus, pancreas, liver, lungs, throat and prostate? The consumption of large amounts of processed meat leads to an increased risk of cancer of the intestines, lungs, prostate and bladder. Vegetarians are 40% less likely to develop cancer than people who eat meat.

• in the Netherlands, we eat 70% more animal fat than is healthy, and more than 50% more protein than is necessary? What’s more, there is a proven scientific link between being overweight and eating a large amount of meat.

• millions of animals have been destroyed as a result of animal diseases in the last 15 years? Q fever: 62,500 goats; bird flu: 30 million chickens; foot-and-mouth disease: 270,000 cows, sheep and goats; swine fever: 11 million pigs; BSE: 6,500 cows.

• more and more animal diseases are also leading to health problems in humans? Examples include bird flu, Q fever, BSE and the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA and ESBL, which can also make humans resistant to antibiotics.

• in factory farming, lack of space and diversion leads to boredom and stress in animals? Many animals are severely limited in their natural behaviour.

So there are plenty of reasons to become a flexitarian or vegetarian!