St Bride's: News - Less Meat Lent: Another St Bride's Choir Adventure

St Bride's: News

Less Meat Lent: Another St Bride's Choir Adventure

Less Meat Lent: Another St Bride's Choir Adventure

Following on from the great success of last year's Plastic-Less Lent campaign, St Bride's choir have a new challenge for the environmentally conscious - "Less Meat Lent".

Lent is a period when we reflect on ways in which we can draw more closely to God - which includes taking a serious look at how we live, the choices we make, and how our lifestyle impacts upon others and upon the world around us. The idea of cutting down our meat consumption in Lent is also entirely consistent with Christian tradition from ancient times: as our Rector notes, 'fasting during Lent is specified in the Book of Common Prayer.'

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Food for Thought

Many factors play a role in climate change, species loss and pollution and agriculture plays a large part in that through its vast use of land, water, pesticides and fertilisers, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Last year, a four year long research project by Oxford University's Dr Joseph Poore concluded that avoiding meat and dairy was the "single biggest thing" we can do to reduce our impact on the Earth. A quarter of global emissions come from food production and of that, 60% from animal products despite meat producing only a small proportion of our calorie and protein intake.

Dr Poore identified huge variation in the carbon footprint of different food types and their various production methods. Plant-based diets have a much lower environmental impact on the whole than meat but certain meat products are worse than others; so, for example, limiting beef rather than chicken consumption is a better course of action. food emissions.png

Furthermore, as the BBC report:

"Knowing how and where your food is produced is also important, as the same food can have huge differences in environmental impact.

For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land is responsible for 12 times more greenhouse gas emissions than cows reared on natural pastures.

The average beef from South America results in three times the amount of greenhouse gases as beef produced in Europe - and uses 10 times as much land."

carbon footprint.png

British Farming

To many, last year's #PlasticLessLent campaign seemed futile: how can one individual make a difference against the vast amount of single use plastic produced globally every day. But public pressure has caused significant change over the last year, from disposable coffee cup alternatives, to supermarkets pledging to use less plastic packaging and ensure it is recyclable, to most of us reusing, repurposing and recycling plastics whenever we can.

British farming has been at the forefront of the organic revolution and our livestock and dairy industry is responding to climate change and consumer pressure to improve animal welfare, and lower emissions and pollution. Some livestock are also grazed on land unsuitable for arable farming and this plays a key role in shaping our countryside and local communities. We need to support them to achieve higher welfare and lower enivronmental impact. However, given population growth and that the lowest impact beef is still much worse than (non-chocolate!) plant-based products, the future needs to be one in which we eat less meat.

St Bride's Choir Lenten Message

Please consider joining with St Bride's Choir this year in trying for a #LessMeatLent and thinking about how we can ensure that the production of our food sits well with our stewardship of God's creation.

We're advocating eating less meat rather than no meat, though some may make that further step to vegetarianism or veganism, but please also consider that the meat you do eat in #LessMeatLent is the #BestMeatLent produced as locally as possible to the highest standards of welfare and the lowest environmental impact.

Follow Our Story & Share Your Own

SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

Facebook @StBridesChoir

Twitter: @StBrides_Choir

Hashtags: #LessMeatLent

If you do decide to join us for #LessMeatLent, the choir will be with you every step of the way. Follow us on Twitter & Facebook and back at this page (stbrides.com/lessmeat) where we'll sharing recipes, trialling meat- and dairy-free alternatives, sharing newspaper and scientific articles, and generally reporting on eating a heck of a lot more vegetables.

Please share your efforts too by posting to our Facebook page or tweeting with our tag @stbrides_choir and the hashtag #LessMeatLent.

Check Back For Future Postings about...

  • "It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it." Sourcing sustainable meat.
  • Grow Your Own
  • Q & A with our choir vegan
  • The Future of Protein?

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