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19th Sep 2020

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.

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  • 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"


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