Saturday, September 24News For London

‘Up the meat-eaters’: are Londoners willing to give up meat?

Reports show meat consumption has decreased in the last decade. Westminster World asked Londoners if they give up meat to help fight climate change.

Credit: Skyler King & Bronwen Latham

A major report published by The Guardian found that meat accounts for nearly 60% of global emissions and is a lead contributor to climate change.

At Westminster World, we asked Londoners if they would be willing to give up meat to save the planet. 

A report by the Lancet Planetary Health found that overall daily meat intake across the UK has decreased 17% over the last decade.

Daisy, a student from London, studying in Bristol, felt that eating less meat was a good way to reduce carbon emissions.

“I don’t eat much meat, and my family don’t either. My sister is vegan for environmental reasons,” Daisy said. 

When asked about her friends’ consumption, she explained that “only a few of them eat meat, most of them are transitioning.” Daisy was then asked what could be further done to reduce the impact on the planet and said “reducing travel.” However, Daisy felt that this was largely the “responsibility of big companies” and not individuals. 

But, she concluded that reducing meat would positively impact the environment “if enough people do it.”

Esme, 19, said she has been “thinking about it for a while and trying to get her family to eat less meat.” 

In response to whether more people will reduce their meat consumption, Anya, 18, said: “I hope so, especially now there are so any other things coming in that are similar to meat to try and get people to make the change it’s definitely more possible.” 

Londoner Kate said she “eats a lot less meat, especially red meat as the environmental impact of chicken is a lot less than red meat.” But, Kate said she continues to include meat in her daughter’s diet.

Her husband Calvin agreed: “No I wouldn’t give it up because I like it too much but would certainly cut down.” They also said they are looking to buy an electric car as their next vehicle to help fight climate change.

Giochan, 28, said the accessibility of meat substitutes and milk alternatives means it’s easier to eat less meat and animal products. Although, he said it is difficult as he is Greek and it is normal for him to consume meat in his diet.

Phil, a courier from London, was more reluctant to change to a solely plant-based diet.

While he said that he would “reduce his meat intake to save the planet,” he was open to the idea of “eating insects in a certain way because they produce less harmful bacteria and are allegedly good for you.” 

However, not everyone is as willing to give up meat as Daisy, Esme and Phil.

Paul, a bystander, said: “F*ck the vegans, up the meat-eaters.”

It seems the majority of Londoners are willing to give up the consumption of meat to help combat climate change.

However the likelihood of this happening remains unclear.