By eating less meat and dairy you’ll drastically reduce the impact of your diet on the environment. Just think, 500g of minced beef uses over 8,000 litres of water to produce – that’s enough to fill more than 50 baths!
Globally we use eight times more land to feed animals than humans. Plus meat and dairy-driven agriculture are leading causes of tropical deforestation. And meat production puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transport.
Video: The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers by the Centre for Investigative Reporting
Adding more fruits, vegetables and pulses in your diet increases your fibre intake and helps lower cholesterol. Fibre rich foods also help you feel fuller for longer, meaning you consume fewer calories.
Reducing your meat and dairy intake also means less saturated fat in your diet and is better for your heart reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes and bowel cancer.
If you are a daily meat-eater, consider having one meat-free day a week.
Check out the Meat Free Monday Twitter feed where you’ll find countless great meat-free recipes
As a minimum you should try to limit your meat intake to once a day. Having meat-free breakfasts and lunches is much better for you in the long run.
When you are buying meat try to source ethically-farmed, local, organic and free range products.
Or, if you're thinking of going vegetarian or vegan, use the Vegetarian Calculator to see how many animals you would potentially save, as well as the reduction in your dietary carbon footprint.