Eating too much meat is unsustainable according to World Meat Free Day.
Eating too much meat is unsustainable according to World Meat Free Day. Rhiannon Tuffield

Give up meat, the future may depend on it

RESEARCH has found if the world continues consuming meat at its current rate, humans would soon need three planets just to feed them.

With the population set to increase by 30% to more than 11 billion people by 2050, the situation is only set to worsen, according to organisers of World Meat Free Day on June 12.

The global day aims to encourage people to cut back on meat consumption.

Nutritious Joanna McMillan said filling up on vegetables could make all the difference.

"It's much easier to do than you think just fill up on greens, beans and vegetables," she said.

"In many parts of the world, people who are the longest-lived, consume a largely plant-based diet with small amounts of meat.

"In Sardinia, for example, meat is mostly reserved for Sundays and special occasions, while in Okinawa seafood is far more common than (red) meat.

"Good quality red meat does offer valuable nutrition, but many of us eat far bigger portions than we need and not enough plant food.

"If when eating meat, you stick to a portion the size of the palm of your hand and fill half your plate with veggies and opt for a least one vegetarian meal a week, you're on the right track to longevity."

Organisers of the event say that if the entire Australian population tried just one meat free recipe, we'd save:

  • The carbon equivalent of the annual power use of 4,467 households
  • The land saving of 8532 rugby fields
  • The water equivalent of 1564 Olympic sized swimming pools

Actress Joanna Lumley voiced her support for the initiative.

"I support World Meat Free Day with all my heart," she said.

"Just a day without eating meat might encourage people to think again how best we can save the planet and stop cruelty to our fellow creatures at the same time."

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