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Meat & Dairy

Climate Impact:

What you can do

Minimise the amount of meat and dairy you consume, and eat red meat once a week or less. 

Make an effort to reduce your meat and dairy consumption, particularly red meat.  If that's only a little at first, that's great.  If you're vegan, vegetarian or have a low meat diet already - please confirm you take this action already (below).

Who's doing it?

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Climate impact

Moving from an high meat-eating diet to a low-meat diet prevents about 0.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions a year - the same amount that's absorbed by around 60 trees (see below for calculations).

Red meat is the highest emitter. Eating a beef burger has the same emissions as driving a car around 25 miles [1][2]

See tips and resources below for detailed comparison of animal products.


Additional benefits
  • Cheaper food shops

  • Reduced cholesterol [3]

  • Reduced contribution to animal cruelty

  • Difficulty of changing eating habits

  • Check out these top vegetarian cookbooks (US and UK)


  • Make certain days of the week meat free days (ideally more meat free days than meat eating).

  • Learn how to cook great vegetarian food (see resources for ideas).

Facts and further information
  • We eat around a million tonnes of meat a day [4].

  • Livestock accounts for around 15% of all man made emissions [5].

  • 50% of the habitable land on earth is used for agriculture. 77% of that agricultural land is used for livestock, including animal feed production (equates to 38% of habitable land). Yet meat and dairy provide only 18% of humankind's global calorie supply [6].

  • Replacing beef with chicken can halve your dietary emissions [7].

Ask the Meat & Dairy group
Impact assessment

Average daily dietary GHG emissions of high-meat eaters in UK [8] = 7.19 kg CO2e
Average daily dietary GHG emissions of low-meat eaters in UK [8] = 4.67 kg CO2e

Average annual dietary GHG emissions of high-meat eaters in UK (7.19 x 365 days) = 2.62 tns CO2e
Average annual dietary GHG emissions of low-meat eaters in UK (4.67 x 365 days) = 1.70 tns CO2e

Average annual reduction in emissions from changing from high-meat diet to low-meat diet = 0.92 tns CO2e

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