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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Isn’t there another way?
    Not really. The population has grown from under 1 billion across recent human history, to 2.5billion in 1950 and now up to 7.7billion. By 2050 it will be 11billion. At that point, our entire “budget” of CO2 will be consumed by agriculture alone. Unless there is some horrible plague that wipes out half the population, we have no choice but to reduce our meat consumption.
  • Can’t technology save us?
    Of course it can - when our security is placed in the hands of an artificial intelligence and it elects to wipe out the human population to save us from ourselves, the problem will be solved! In truth, there is a chance, but it's a small one and will likely take too long to implement on a global scale in time to stop what is already a critical level of damage. It’s not a chance we can afford to take. It's in your hands i'm afraid and it can't be put into the hands of a scientist or inventors to take care of it for you - it's all up to you.
  • How much meat can/should I eat?
    As little as you feel you can. Particularly avoid Beef, try and reduce your dairy consumption and when you want to eat seafood, make sure it is sustainably sourced. We have run the rough numbers and, based on the current average meat consumption worldwide and the expected poulation growth, by 2030, it would be great if the world average consumption dropped to around 30kg per person, per year(Currently 42kg). This would give us a 20% reduction in worldwide meat consumption, which is needed to mitigate climate change and would also stop deforestation and give us all manner of benefits as shown on the WTF page. 30kg amounts to around 5 portions of meat per week. Again though, anything you can do is great. Every bite counts.
  • Aren’t energy production and transport more important for climate change?
    Depending how you calculate it, they may be the bigger producers of green house gases, but only just. Fortunately, the technology to transform the emissions of these two big contributors has long existed. Renewable energy production is now even considered the cheapest in many locations and car manufacturers are moving toward electric. There is still a lot of work to be done, and you can still help by demanding less fossil fuels from the sources you consume them and by switching to an all electric car, but these two sectors are at least on their way to success. Who even talks about reducing agricultures impact on climate change, let alone does something about it? We do, sure. Anybody else?
  • What can I eat if I don’t want to eat meat?
    Chips. Pasta. Rice. Pizza. Roast Veg. Salad. Garlic Bread. Chocolate. Crisps. Omelette. Quiche. Ice Cream. Eggplant Parmigiana. Noodles. Soup. Noddle soup. Croissants. Veggie sausages. Veg curry. Naan bread. Poppadoms. Mushroom burger. Mash potatoes. Falafel. Cheese sandwich. Biscuits. Burrito. Risotto. Veg stir fry. Cous cous. Jacket potato. Beans on toast. And many many more. Use your imagination and make something up!
  • How can I encourage my family to eat less meat?
    First, remind them that they eat a lot of meat free food already. Margherita Pizza anyone? Pasta? Chips? Then remind them that it doesn’t have to be “healthy”. There’s no need to eat like a rabbit - go get some ice cream, deep fry that mars bar, tuck into that bag of crisps! Next is to suggest simple switching out, like swapping the ham covered pizza for a mushroom one, or making a parmigiana the real way - from eggplant, not chicken. These are ways to make a quick change, but quick often doesn’t work. A long slow process is easier to follow, like cutting back 1 evening meat meal per week, until you are down to your target. But beofre you do that, you may need to discuss the enviroment, climate change or eating meat with them. Watch this video to see the way to talk to people at the dinner table in a way that is healthy and understanding.
  • But i really like Burgers...
    We know, we know. They are delicious. We feel for you. We really do. But you know what? The future of the natural world is a little more important than that blink of a moment in your life when you get to taste the juicy fried muscle of a cow sandwiched between two slices of bread, don't you think?! It's not like there aren't many other delicious things you can shove into your mouth anyway. Try something else instead!
  • Why does Eating The Earth target individuals, not governments or businesses?"
    Two reasons: - - Firstly, because governments and businesses do not want to act or are too slow to act, to protect the environment. Companies continue to act only in the interest of profit(when they do act, it's usually the minimal required to "show" they are acting) and governments have shown time and again that they are incapable of doing what's needed. - Secondly, we focus on individuals because we feel this is the best way to achieve change. Eating less meat is so powerful in what it can collectively achieve, but to do this, it needs to be individuals who make a choice to change. Governments could help(through taxes, other incentives, etc), but they are reluctant to due to a percieved negative backlash that could entail, resulting in their politcal careers being over.
  • Why is this a hidden issue?
    This is hidden because most people simply just don't know about it. It's a relatively new problem, brought on by population increases, and it hasn't yet entered the mainstream of topical discussion. This is in part due to the silence of governments across the world who do not want to tell you about it because they understandably fear that "telling people what to eat" would be suicidal to their prospects of re-election. NGO's feel their fundraising or reputations could be damaged and therefore also avoid the subject.
  • Why don't you ask people to be vegan or vegetarian?
    Partly because it is too big a leap for people to make and partly because it is not entriely neccesary for the earth to be alleviated of it's environmental problems. This campaign is run based on practical and psychological based realities about human behavior. It would be great if people could be vegetarian, and even better if vegan, but it's unlikely that people would make this step if asked. Even worse, a reader might actually be turned off by the request to the point that they literally do turn off and ignore what we say, dismissing us as "tree huggers" that are social outsiders and exactly the type of people to be ignored. "Vegan" as a word is actually largely unused with this campaign due to percieved negative connotations associated with it.
  • Why should I when others don't...The meat I eat isn't from the Amazon...One person won't make a difference...
    These thoughts are just excuses to justify a persons prefered option, which is usually the option of changing nothing at all. People just love that status quo. So much in fact that they will grasp every straw they can. Lets break down those barriers:- "Why should I when nobody else does?" - Well, the world is not going to change with that attitude! If everybody thought this then nothing would happen. Things do change though, so people must make personal changes all the time, you just need to look at the long term potential and imagine the change one tiny step can make. Each time you choose a non-meat option, you say with your actions what you think and that influences others, be it your friends and family, nosey strangers at the deli counter or the corporations that supply your food. "The meat I eat doesn't come from the Amazon" This may be technically true in a lot of cases, but do you know where the meat in that restaurant from last Friday night came from? It doesn't really matter anyway. Any meat is a contributor to climate change and the destruction of the natural habitat those animals now inhabit, so it likely had a great impact. "One person's actions can't make a difference" - Yes they can. Ideas spread through individuals, they snowball and they take on a life of their own. This only happens with individual people making a change one by one until, collectively, they make a whole big difference. You will see it within your social group yourself when friends ask why you're avoiding meat. You will tell them why and they will appear to ignore you. But the seed has been planted and one day they might act upon that knowledge seed and make a different choice themselves. Or they may just bitch about you to someone else and unwittingley pass the knowledge on to another person.
  • I run a businees/events/an organisation - what can I do?
    This could be very controversial in your company, so tread lightly. But, it's not unreasonable to suggest that anyone who has a normal meat inclusive diet cannot also eat, and enjoy, vegetarian options. So perhaps just switch things out - mushroom pizza instead of pepperoni, tomato soup instead of chicken soup and chicken instead of beef. Your colleagues probably won't even notice. It's an ordinary situation where everyone has a meat option except those that specifically request a veggie option, but why? Make half the menu veggie, then you don't even need to ask people. In a more general situation, like a canteen for example, you can put up a poster to inform people that their food choices impact the environment (Here is a small flyer - poster coming soon). This way people make their own choices rather than feeling like they are being coerced into it. Another canteen option is to use the power of "Nudge". Where you place food affects the likelihood of people choosing it. Putting the veggie options higher up and toward the front of the queue may tempt people more.
  • Why don't governments do something about this? Like a meat tax?
    There are many factors at play such as an ingrained focus on putting the economy first, politicians friends in the meat industry and the fact that government paid for diners are often made up of expensive juicy steaks, but the biggest reason is probably that they believe it to be political suicide to even suggest that you as an individual should feel like you are being told what to put in your mouth. To be honest, it's understandable. We people want to just get on with our stressful lives and do what we please, food often being used as a comfort in life. And we could continue to do that, if we humans hadn't swarmed the planet like a plague of highly organised lions with very selective tastes and an amazing accountant. Short of a dictator that has a penchant for gibbons and koalas, the only way we can stop the plague is if we do it ourselves. We must collectively, as a global society, come together and effect change from the bottom up.
  • What about Palm Oil, isn't that a big issue?"
    Yes, it is, particularly in South East Asia, particularly in Indonesia(Where Orangutans, Tigers and Rhino's are displaced) and Malaysia. This is something that you and we as a society need to address through sustainable usage and pressuring governments to stop the wave of destruction in pursuit of profit. The reason we focus on the livestock industry as opposed to Palm Oil is that we consider the impact of eating meat to be a bigger issue in the scale of its spread(worldwide) and the number of issues affected. Plus, it's actually an easier problem to solve - meat is pretty obvious to spot so can easily be avoided by an individual. Trying to spot sustainable palm oil in a mountian of supermarket products is a little bit harder. Please look at our Top 10 Actions page for a comparison of options.
  • What about farmer's jobs?
    This change will be gradual, not drastic, and they will have time to transition to another source of income. Governments can help, perhaps by reallocating subsidies, to ease people to different crops or industries. People still need to eat and they still have money to spend, so there is always something farmers can do. For example: - - some(on the most suitable land) will continue with cows or move down the ecological footprint ladder to pigs, sheep or chickens. - grow crops or vegetables - farm fruit trees or create a vineyard - build a solar farm - become a conservationist(government supported), managing their land back to a natural habitat - sell their land and live off/invest the proceeds - move to a place where a non farming job can be found. Many skills are transferable Ultimately, whilst the livelihoods and jobs of people are important and nobody wants to see farmers struggling in life, there are many options they can take. Their desire to "farm their familes land like their grandparents did" or simply avoid change is an insignificant importance when compared to the need to solve the climate crisis and end the mass extinction event.
  • Can I donate to Eating The Earth?
    No, we don't currently want or need donations. The best thing you can do is talk and try to nudge people toward making change(without being pushy - this doesn't work and your friends won't like you any more). You never know how far one idea can spread. If you are thinking of competing in a charitable event and asking for sponsorship from people, instead of asking for cash why not ask them to "donate" their meat and commit to a certain number of vegetarian meals that they will eat?
  • Who is Eating The Earth funded by?
    Nobody. There is no funding or spending, except a minimal cost of $250 per year for the website hosting. Everything is done voluntarily by ordinary people who earn money through their day jobs. We're just really nice you see.
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