The Chinese government recently released their country’s Dietary Guidelines recommending a 50% reduction in meat consumption by 2030. The new guidelines have been adjusted to reflect the rising incidence of obesity and diet-related diseases in China. A recent paper published in The Lancet reported that 27-28% of people in Chinese are overweight or obese.
A new public service announcement produced by WildAid in partnership with the Chinese Nutrition Society, showcases Terminator and action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Titanic and Avatar’s famous director, James Cameron. The men make a strong link between meat consumption and environmental decline. Cameron, an advocate for veganism, asks in the video, “How can I call myself an environmentalist when I’m contributing to environmental degradation by what I eat?”
The PSAs are aimed at both American and Chinese audiences and encourage people to eat less meat – not only because it’s better for you, but because it might save the world, too.
Speaking alongside Cameron, Schwarzenegger states, “I’m slowly getting off meat and I tell you: I feel fantastic.”
“Less meat, less heat, more life,” concludes the actor, who also states that the notion that meat is needed for muscle strength is incorrect.
A report from WildAid points out that if everyone in China followed the new Dietary Guidelines, the shift would cause global agricultural emissions to drop by 12%, causing total greenhouse emissions to drop by 1.5%, more than the entire annual output of France and Belgium combined.
10 years ago meat alternatives were few and far between, but in the past five years or so they have proliferated. Of course the category leaders still remain strong – Gardein and Quorn – who produce plant-based meat alternatives that resemble chicken, beef, crab, and fish. In addition, there is a whole crop of companies producing sophisticated non-meat versions of existing meat products which include Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have burgers and ground “meat” that look, smell, and even “bleed” like a meat patty would.
In the future meat replacement lineup, visionary companies such as Memphis Meats and Mosa Meats are creating clean, cultured “meat” in systems that resemble microbreweries. These companies plan on providing “actual meat” that doesn’t come from a slaughtered animal.
Today, great plant-based meat replacement products exist, but tomorrow clean, cultured “meat” will provide actual products without the environmental, humane, and health implications of the current broken animal agricultural system.