PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has penned a letter to President Obama asking if he will consider adopting Meat Free Mondays in the fight against climate change and also as a more humane and healthy option.
The Meat Free Monday movement is growing around the world as more and more people voluntarily give up meat consumption one day a week in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases generated from this carbon emission intensive form of food production. The UN’s Livestock Longshadow Report found that livestock is responsible for an estimated 18% of all greenhouse gases, more than all forms of transport combined.
The David Suzuki Foundation advocates for consuming less meat due to the disproportionate amount of water and land required in meat production.
Newkirk hopes that the First Family will continue to set a good example and promote healthy and humane eating by participating in the Meat Free Monday campaign. Read her letter below:
Dear Mr. President,
Sir Paul McCartney is in town this weekend and has launched an initiative called “Meat-Free Mondays” to help stave off climate change, lessen the suffering of animals, and promote a diet healthier than the artery-clogging, obesity-inducing one that is a major cause of the soaring health-care costs and worker absenteeism in this country.
As you no doubt know, on October 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe. Today, the number of starving people in the world is on a par with the number of obese people in the U.S., and a restriction on meat and dairy-product intake could help tip those scales for the better.
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the city of Ghent in Belgium, parts of Israel, and, this fall, many schools in the U.K. are among those embracing the concept of “Meat-Free Monday.” It’s one-seventh of where we should be, but it’s a great start. If you institute this program in the White House, it will be a giant step forward in transforming it to a green house, and it will set a wonderful example for people nationwide or worldwide who look to you for leadership when it comes to a kinder, environmentally friendlier, and more health-conscious approach to life.
Ingrid E. Newkirk President, PETA