Sunday

21st Jul 2019

Paul McCartney calls for meat-free Mondays in Europe

Paul McCartney has called on Europeans to make at least one day a week meat-free in order to save the planet.

Speaking in the European Parliament on Thursday, the former Beatle warned that eating meat was doing more damage to the earth's climate than any other activity.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The former Beatle wants Europeans to eat no meat on Mondays (Photo: Wikipedia)

"The livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of transport put together - cars planes trains trucking," he said.

"They used to be what we thought were the villains, but it turns out the livestock industry is worse," he continued, noting that agriculture as a whole was responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,

One of the world's most famous vegetarians and author of some of the world's most well-known tunes, he said that meat production was incredibly wasteful and contributed to deforestation. He also highlighted the intense water use involved in meat production."

"To produce one burger requires the amount of water used in a four-hour shower," he added, speaking alongside Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a vegetarian as well.

Mr Pachauri said that if people ate meat only five or six days a week instead of seven, this alone could reduce global emissions by five to eight percent.

The president of the parliament, Jerzy Buzek, endorsed the call for a reduction of meat in Europeans' diet.

"The ‘meat-free Monday' campaign is a good idea, may be not for everyone and the change has to be step by step, the impact on the climate of overproduction of meat is becoming clear," he said.

Farmers' groups for their part thought people dismissed the suggestion.

"Sir Paul McCartney is a well-respected musician, but he should not be using this debate to further what are his personal, strident vegetarian beliefs," said Peter Kendall, president of the UK's National Farmers' Union.



"We see the ... car industry encouraged to produce more efficient and environmentally friendly cars," he added. "Food producers in this country should be treated in the same way."



"The idea of giving up meat or reducing our national herds and flocks is unnecessary. Instead, we need to see more investment made in agricultural research and development to help farmers and growers produce more efficiently. We need to work with our food producers, not alienate them"


Exclusive

EU moves to end car-testing 'confidentiality clause'

The EU Commission will now spend €3.4m next year to rent cars for emissions testing - after EUobserver revealed that models loaned by the manufacturer were then subject to commercial confidentiality clauses.

Four states block EU 2050 carbon neutral target

Poland, with the support from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Estonia, blocked a commitment to climate neutrality by 2050. It is now just a footnote in the summit conclusions.

Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'

Following an investigation into the Dieselgate scandal, the European Parliament recommended a single commissioner should be responsible for both air quality and setting industrial standards. But only the Greens want to commit to carry out that advice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  2. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  3. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  4. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  5. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  6. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  7. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  8. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us