Donderdag Veggiedag: Belgians go veggie for the day
Here’s a lovely little idea that Oxfam-Solidariteit and Oxfam-in-België have got behind. Donderdag Veggiedag (Veggie Thursdays). A simple, fun challenge that could potentially do wonderful things for our little planet.
In a resource constrained world, meat is a pretty inefficient way of feeding people. It’s expensive, takes a lot of energy to produce (livestock production is responsible for around half of the world’s carbon emissions) and a pretty hefty load of crops has to be grown just to feed the animals we eat. It takes 8kg of grain, for instance, to produce 1kg of beef. Growing crops to feed animals means there is less land on which to grow crops for humans.
Believe it or not, 65% of the methane that is emitted as a result of dairy farming comes from the cows themselves. Yep! Cow farts. Methane is a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. It really isn’t good for our planet.
Three-quarters of the world’s agricultural land is used to raise livestock, either for grazing or for growing feed. Imagine if we started using that land to grow crops, just to feed people. It would go so much further. And by giving small-scale farmers the right tools and the right help to grow those crops, we’d be able to go some way to feeding a billion hungry mouths.
Let’s imagine we’ve been set a task. Feed as many people as you can, with just this field, all this corn and this one cow. So you use the field to grow corn to feed the cow, then from the cow, you make hamburgers. You make 50 burgers and feed 50 people.
But what if you grow the corn and then feed the people with that? For those 50 burgers, you could feed 1000 people. Seems much more economical. And the cow? Well we could just use it to make milkshakes.
We’re not saying we should all give up meat altogether. That’s never going to happen. But making a choice to have one meat-free day a week is a positive choice for change. With one day a week without meat, you’ll save 170 kg of CO 2 every year. So why not go veggie this Thursday?
Read about Donderdag Veggiedag (Veggie Thursdays) on ikgroeimee.be.
Look! Oxfam on telly in Belgium!