Councillor calls on Wilmslow residents to try Meat Free Monday

Lata Anderson resize 2

Wilmslow Town Councillor Lata Anderson is calling for people in Wilmslow to go "Meat Free Monday" after a presentation by Sarah Bridle last week on Food and Climate Change organised by local activists Climate Conscious Wilmslow.

Professor Sarah Bridle, Professor of Astrophysics at Manchester University and local resident presented her work on the carbon cost of the food we eat to a packed audience at the United Reformed Church on Thursday, 6th February. She has looked at all the factors that contribute to the carbon costs of our food, and how we as consumers can make informed choices about the food we buy and eat.

Professor Bridle said: "The main messages are that we should work hard to reduce the astonishing amount of food that we as consumers throw away, estimated at £355 worth per household each year, and that we reduce our consumption of meat and dairy products."

Town Councillor Lata Anderson said "it is great to know that Cheshire East Council are now going to collect food waste for composting rather than going to landfill, where it produces large quantities of methane. As a next step, what about encouraging Wilmslow to try "Meat Free Monday" to get a taste for meat free eating?

"To avoid the devastating impact that climate change could have on our lives, action needs to be taken now. Most people want to be involved in reducing our impact on Climate Change but are not sure what they can do. Giving up meat on one day a week is a simple step but one that will make a big difference. By being meat free on one day, we hope people will realise how tasty and nutritious meat-free food can be and potentially extend to another meat free day.If everyone took part in meat-free Monday, it would be the equivalent of taking 240 million cars off the road."

Cllr Anderson added "We are looking for a small team of volunteers to be involved and work in the community.

To get involved in Meat Free Monday, email Lata Anderson.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Andrew Backhouse
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 3:53 pm
A great idea. Sarah Bridle is inspiring and anything that helps us start to reduce our carbon footprint is worth a try. What about car free weeks next?!
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 4:33 pm
Oh please do me a favour and take your vegan tastes elsewhere. As a carnivore I never tried to get you daisy chewers to eat meat, so keep your barmy ideas to yourself. And dont come up with the crazy idea that flatulent cows are killing the planet. I am one of the silent majority who are now fed up keeping silent about all these merchants of doom abounding our island.
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 5:40 pm
Our dentition tells us we are omnivorous and with the reduction in size of our canine teeth evolution moves us ever closer to eventually being herbivores. It is finally beginning to sink in that we should all be doing something about looking after our planet. Whether we are destined to suffer a miserable end to human existence or not it seems a wise thing to do to start taking some form of action now. The environment can be improved and to pinch a well known sales pitch, "Every little helps."

Good article Lata. Something to think about and maybe act upon.
Rev. Sevillia
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 5:56 pm
So that's two churches that are promoting this "agenda", United Reformed and St Chads in Handforth. How nasty and sinister is this?
Robert Kemp
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 6:06 pm
Clive Cooksey. I personally love a meat free burger with all the trimmings - occasionally - and like it or not there is increasing evidence that reducing animal products in our diet does lead to a healthier, longer life. Also, eliminating particulate emissions in our cities needs urgent attention
However the Vegan Bandwagon has latched onto the Carbon Climate Brigade conveniently overlook lots of facts. Here are just two:-

1. We as a country contribute around 2% of global carbon emissions, and even if we manage to bring carbon emissions to zero at whatever damage to our lifestyles and the economy, the rest of the world will bring about climate change regardless.
2. Oil Tankers use a high sulphur (HFO = Heavy Fuel Oil) that is 3500 times more polluting than cars - just 28 Oil Tankers produce more pollution than ALL the worlds cars). How many Oil Tankers in the world - lots more than 28 I'll bet!

Lets concentrate on where the most effective changes will help the earth and stop virtue signalling about how caring we are and fixating on things that will have a negligible effect on the claimed target.
Rev. Sevillia
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 6:08 pm
My comments keep on getting deleted and I don't know why.
I would like to say that to use not one, but TWO churches, to promote this agenda, is really sinister. The other month it was St Chad's promoting these ideas and now it is the United Reformed. My suggestion is that if you want to promote ideas that are related to the Hindu religion, then do it via a Hindu temple.
David Jefferay
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7:39 pm
@Clive Cooksey, I think you'll find that soon you will be the not so silent minority. Just look at the adverts on tv for the fast food restaurants...all now advertise plant-based options. Vegetarianism is now becoming mainstream as people recognise the benefits on health, personal finances and animal welfare and the detrimental effects on climate change of a meat-based diet (the evidence for which is now overwhelming). That aside, I would hardly say cutting out meat one day per week is vegan.

@Robert Kemp, I'm sure it is more complicated than this but if we contribute 2% for a country with 0.87% of the world's population, does that not mean we are contributing well over what we should be? Re the shipping, I believe there are moves afoot trying to clean up shipping as far as possible but other than only buying UK products, there's not much we can do about that (not many of us drive tankers for a living).

I would say meat-free Monday is an easy thing that people who are concerned about environmental issues can do to help with little effort. I'm not someone who loses sleep over climate change but I see that it's a problem and that every little helps.
Good on Lata for making an effort to do something.
Paul Johnson
Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 9:42 pm
I think Councillor Lara Anderson should look after herself and not worry what we, the public, choose to do.
Clive Cooksey
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 9:02 am
Robert Kemp thanks for your comment. But a "meat free BURGER" you say. Why do you vegans always try to make your food look like meat products?
Jon Williams
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 9:46 am
Totally wrong that a Wilmslow Town Councillor should be dictating what and when we eat.
Anthony Evans
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 10:39 am
What strong language for a harmless suggestion. I can remember when it was a mortal sin to eat meat on Friday and you would go to hell if you disobeyed. Now that was being dictated to.
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 10:46 am
I have no problem with anyone deciding to exist on a meat-free diet as long as they don't try to impose it on others. We have evolved to be omnivores; perhaps in a few million years that will change, but it hasn't yet.

I'm also far from convinced by their 'planet saving' claims. In UK, cows live in great big green fields. Such fields are excellent carbon sinks. Vegans, however, buy exotic foods from overseas, many of which use a lot of rare resources such as fresh water in the countries where they are grown. How does this impact local populations?

And then there's the massive carbon footprint created by importing these faddy foods into the UK.

From where does Lata Anderson get the idea that it is acceptable to impose her beliefs on others? Back off, Councillor!
Jon Armstrong
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 10:48 am
Who would have thought such an simple idea would provoke such a response!?

A few points...

1. Dictating something isn't the same as suggesting it. But claiming something is being dictated sounds a lot more emotive and dramatic, doesn't it?

2. Having a meet free Monday isn't veganism. Nor is it even vegetarianism. No more than the traditional fish and chips on Friday makes you a pescatarian.

3. Anyone can book the church halls. This isn't nasty or sinister.

4. Not eating meat doesn't make someone Hindu. Nor are all Hindus vegetarian. It's strange to repeatedly link the two, and to imply this is a negative may not be completely unrelated to missing posts.

5. The idea that if we can't solve all environmental problems ourselves it isn't worth doing anything is reductive and flawed, especially as so many other countries are doing a lot, and more than us.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 10:59 am
Some interesting quotes from experts and followers of the new "religion" here!!!
"detrimental effects on climate change of a meat-based diet (the evidence for which is now overwhelming)." Really!!!!"

"To avoid the devastating impact that climate change could have on our lives, action needs to be taken now." Spoken like a true believer.

If the water melon brigade wish to attempt to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere ( human influence contributes a small amount) then the most effective and quick way would be to stop the 15 countries concerned burning down rain forest. This contributes around 15-25% of CO2.

However to follow the above advice:

Almonds. Grown in California. Suck up water contributing to drought and forest fires spewing CO2. Flown all over the world.

Avocados. Grown in Mexico and other far away places. Suck up water contributing to drought and increasing transport costs for food for locals (Mexico). Flown to Europe.

Quinoa beans. I really shouldn't have to explain to our educated readers but flown from Peru and Ecuador and now locals cannot afford part of their staple diet due to greenies.

Kiwi fruit. Clue in the name. NOT green.

Maybe a bag of chlorinated salad then!!!

On Monday I shall have 4 local lamb chops (two extra to make up for the gullible) and some Cheshire spuds and veg. How green is that???
Manuel Golding
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 5:05 pm
So it is the belief of some that it is their life's missionary role that Wilmslow will save the planet, assuming that it really does need saving.
Sheba Thompson
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 7:28 pm
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually. Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US. 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. Stop burying your head in the sand. Climate change is real, imagine the impact if everyone did just a tiny bit, even giving up meat for at least one day a week. There is no Planet B. X
Martin Anderson
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 8:39 pm
@Manuel Golding, dream big my friend! why the hell not?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 13th February 2020 at 9:12 pm
What a lot of bizarre (and uncharacteristic) opinions have spilled out on this and other threads here this week. Has there been a leak of something into the water supply?

I see that Jack Pink and Ryan Dance have a new competitor in wind-up merchant "Rev. Sevillia". It's almost as if they are the same person.

Get a grip folks, there is only one seat on the bus reserved for nutters.
Pippa Jones
Friday 14th February 2020 at 10:15 am
Brilliant: some of these comments are worthy of publication in Private Eye but it is good to see some serious responses too. The science of both climate change and the contribution of food to climate change (whether by direct impacts of the animals themselves and their slurry or less directly via the forests destroyed to grow cattle feed) is unarguable. If you are arguing you haven't read the scientific literature or listened to the scientists.
No one is telling you not to eat meat, it is a suggestion for those very many people who actually want to make a difference for future generations but perhaps aren't quite sure how to; something simple to adopt to help you make a positive change. If everyone adopted meat free Monday (don't worry, no one is ordering you to) it would have the same effect on carbon emissions as taking 240 million cars off the road. Some of you might be surprised how many people in Wilmslow actually do want to make a change to the way we live and don't want to be remembered as the generation that ruined everything and took all the Earth's resources, leaving our children and grandchildren with nothing.
So well done Lata for a great suggestion and look forward to hearing how those people who want to engage with this campaign get on with MeatFreeMonday!
Alan Brough
Friday 14th February 2020 at 11:53 am
I think Lata's suggestion is perfectly reasonable and eminently sensible. I'm going to give it a go.
Florence Collier
Friday 14th February 2020 at 12:42 pm
Well done Lata, a great initiative and I hope Wilmslow schools and businesses will get behind the idea. You are giving folk a nudge and something to think about.

For anyone unclear about the numbers, Prof Sarah Bridle - having not found the data - has been researching this for the last three years.

We've realised that by significantly reducing the amount of meat we eat - with all the health benefits of a (mainly) plant-based diet and money saved - we can occasionally "treat" ourselves to quality organic, grass-fed produce. We also make it stretch: bolognaise filled out with mushrooms or lentils, home made chicken stock from leftover bones to make those "veggie" meals even tastier... plenty of ideas if you want to give it a go.
Simon Worthington
Friday 14th February 2020 at 3:00 pm
Great debate. It's just like debating any religion - those who believe will believe despite any attempts to help them believe otherwise.
Thanks for all the figures Sheba but a cursory check contradicts them.
On another note perhaps pet owners will now start to feel guilty at the contribution their animal's food and its transportation makes to the environment. Thought not!!!!!
No cotton of course. Massive water use. Check out waste in the fashion industry.
No jewellery of course. Frivolous, polluting and wasteful.
Walk/cycle to work or school. Thought not.
No worshipping at the (other) great God retail on a Sunday. Miles away. Yeah sure!!
No third/new world wines. Ermm!!!
No new car. Ha Ha!!
No new up to date mobile phone complete with rare earth elements only mined in China due to the heavy pollution it causes. Yup!!
Strange how the young who care so much are the biggest consumers and always need the heating on!!
So let's all grab some fruit and veg on Monday - that will save........
Sue Macnab
Saturday 15th February 2020 at 7:59 pm
What a great idea! Changing habits of a lifetime. Small steps. I’ll give it a try!
Gillian Slater
Tuesday 18th February 2020 at 11:22 pm
Actually I already do because I much prefer fish. Hope that's ok.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 19th February 2020 at 8:52 am
No problem at all as far as I'm concerned, Gillian. The objections raised here regard only those trying to push their vegan views on others (which you are not and which is quite unacceptable), and also their dubious claims that veganism is better for the planet (in UK at least) than an normal omnivorous diet.

I like fish too, by the way. I also enjoy a good steak. ;-)
Gillian Slater
Wednesday 19th February 2020 at 1:08 pm
Likewise Vince its having the choice. I must confess my parents owned a large well known fish shop so we had the best. BTW Sunday lunch was a leg of lamb.
Seriously though I think meat free Monday is a good idea if it has the benefits described( Or Tuesday or any other day that one chooses)
Jon Hunt
Friday 28th February 2020 at 1:53 pm
Fair play - and a good shout! Of course it’s up to the individual but looking at the benefits for both health and the environment it’s becoming hard to ignore. Of course they’ll always be the people who are ‘over my dead body’ but I urge you to watch ‘Game Changers’ if you have access to Netflix. Yes it’s one sided but a real eye opener to what a plant based diet can do!