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Sir Paul McCartney is spearheading a campaign to encourage people to “go vegetarian” for at least one day every week. Meat Free Monday is a food campaign to encourage the world to help slow climate change by reducing their meat consumption by having one meat free day a week.

The former Beatle is leading the star-studded campaign that includes Stella McCartney, Yoko Ono, Kelly Osbourne, Moby, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Ricky Gervais, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Sheryl Crow, artist Jeff Koons and chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Giorgio Locatelli.

“I think many of us feel helpless in the face of environmental challenges, and it can be hard to know how to sort through the advice about what we can do to make a meaningful contribution to a cleaner, more sustainable, healthier world,” said McCartney. “Having one designated meat free day a week is actually a meaningful change that everyone can make, that goes to the heart of several important political, environmental and ethical issues all at once. For instance it not only addresses pollution, but better health, the ethical treatment of animals, global hunger and community and political activism.”

The UK’s Food Climate Research Network states that food production is responsible for between 20-30 percent of global green house gas emissions. The United Nations has supported the figures, saying that the livestock sector is ‘one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global’.

“A couple of years ago the United Nations came out with a report that said for people to eat less meat would have a big impact on the environment,” McCartney told Sky News. “It’s all got a bit out of hand and I think people want to do their bit to bring it back into line, and this is an answer we’ve got involved in. A few years ago you’d say to people recycling is good. And they’d stick it all in one bin anyway. I mean I was the same. Now you don’t see that. You go round to people’s houses and they’ve got the bins and stuff. I think the time is right now for that idea.”

The Meat Free Monday campaign states that meat consumption has quadrupled since 1961, and poultry consumption has increased 10-fold.

“The reality is a lot of people don’t eat meat every day,” said Stella McCartney. “You don’t have to be a vegetarian to cut out one day of meat consumption. It’s something anyone can do.”

“I thought this was a great idea,” Sir Paul told reporters at the campaign’s official launch yesterday. “To just reduce your meat intake maybe by one day a week and this would seriously benefit the planet. It’s kind of easy to do. You’ve had too much over the weekend anyway and you’re all running down to the gym to try and work it off – so just have a meat-free Monday.”

To find out more about Meat Free Mondays and lend your support, visit the official website.

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