Climate crisis is a much-debated topic in the 21st century, but how impactful is your diet on climate change?
The dire need to save the planet grows more every day as climate crisis is something that can’t be ignored in 2019. The impact of what people eat greatly affects greenhouse emissions and environmental degradation. Food systems contribute at least 21 to 37 per cent of global greenhouse gases including loss of biodiversity, deforestation and rising sea levels.
Consuming meat grows every day with the rising population, but there is a wave for change influenced by the climate crisis. However, how strong is the need to change? Walking through the streets of Cardiff people talk about whether their diet is a personal choice or influenced by the climate crisis.
Allen, 60, Cardiff
I am three-quarters vegetarian, I eat a bit of fish and mostly eat vegetables. My family is old fashioned, they just eat meat. Being vegetarian is a personal preference, but I can see the climate benefits of eating vegetables. It is very important to think about the climate, as it takes an acre of grass or vegetables to keep me going for a year, but a cow will take me a few days. You can’t keep up with that lifestyle because of the rising population. It takes a few steps to make a change.
Korey Power, 24, Ireland
My diet is pretty strict, but I am a meat-eater. I tried it for three days, but couldn’t do it. We do a lot of hunting in the family, that was just the way we were raised. If you look back 100 years ago there was no such thing as a vegetarian, but all of a sudden it is affecting the planet. The climate is pretty bad, but I wouldn’t change my diet because you only live once. I would try to reduce meat if I had to.
Lowri Luis, 19, Cardiff
There’s no term for what I am, but I don’t eat too much meat because of climate crisis. I am worried that I’ll die before I have children, so I would rather reduce eating meat in general. I am part of a student group Extension Rebellion in Bristol where we have weekly meetings on climate change. Young people should especially think about how bad the climate is and be vigilant. It is our future.
Anna Coleman, 32, Bristol
I probably eat meat every day if I am honest. I don’t eat meat during the day, just in the evenings. I think I would find it hard to forgo eating meat just knowing what to cook, but there are so many delicious vegan recipes. It would be hard, but doable. It is important to think about your diet since it is in the news and how eating meat is affecting the climate through emissions. Animal welfare is also on my mind, but I can cut it down to once a week or twice a week. If a lot of people do it, there is a bigger difference.
Sylvia, 47, Athens
I eat everything, but I like eating fish and vegetables better. I prepare meat because I have children at home. Climate change is important, but they should reduce meat not only for the climate but for their health. If you eat too much eat, you’re going to have cancer.
Heather Mason, 19, Cardiff
I am a meat-eater, but I don’t eat too much meat. I like to consciously think about what I eat. I think about it a lot. I love animals, and my favourite animal is a cow, which is why I don’t eat beef or steak. I think people should be thinking about climate change and consciously take the effort to reduce eating meat, if not completely drop it.
Amann Ahmed, 22, Pakistan
I like cheeseburgers, but if I have to do it, there are alternatives. I am Pakistani, we eat meat every day! Climate crisis is happening right now, but I haven’t made the change. Of course, people need to take it into account. People who are more understanding than me don’t need to eat meat.