World Vegetarian Day, 1 October 2010, will be the first day of Vegetarian Awareness Month and individuals and families are urged to eat less meat, chicken and fish to make a difference to the planet.
A "Meat Free Mondays" campaign has been launched to emphasise the link between the consumption and production of meat and the role it plays in climate change.
The drive was launched in South Africa last week, supported by organisations like, Beauty Without Cruelty, Animal Anti-Cruelty league, SA Vegan Society and other organisations to encourage people to eat less meat with the hope to prove a report published by the United Nations in 2006 Livestock’s long shadow. The report states that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, which is a bigger share than what transport accounts for.
The Vegetarian Awareness Month wants to underline that the consumption of meat plays a role in the deterioration of the environment and that it affects South African water usage as well.
"We are urged to restrict our everyday water usage, yet we can make a significant impact with our choice of meals. 64 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in water-stressed basins by 2025. As the impacts of climate change affect water availability, the amount of water the meat industry consumes becomes a huge concern," Toni Brockhoven, Beauty Without Cruelty Campaign Manager, reportedly said.
"Having one designated meat, chicken and fish free day a week is actually an easy yet meaningful change that everyone can make," Brockhoven apparently said.
With the Meat Free Monday launched, the Marketing Director of Fry's Vegetarian Food, Tammy Fry, said that South Africans seem to be excited about the campaign: "I think we are an open-minded society and the reaction we have had so far to this campaign has shown a great acceptance and willingness to make a change."