Those wanting to fight climate change can follow this diet
Who are climatarians and why is their motivation strong enough to convince an increasing number of people to modify their diet?
Farming relating to fodder, or the feed used in the breeding of animals, is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. More than all the CO2 emitted by the transport sector. And this percentage does not consider direct emissions caused by intensive breeding.
This piece of data alone should cause us to reflect on what is the best, most effective thing to do as we move forward if we want to fight climate change and stop global warming. Further surprising data relates to the fundamental resource that is water: to produce half a kilo of beef, it takes - on average - 9500 litres of water (direct and indirect consumption combined). This is why I prefer to stop eating hamburgers rather than feel guilty when I forget to turn off the tap when brushing my teeth.
The figures I’ve cited are taken from Cowspiracy, one of the most shocking documentaries of recent times, produced by American actor (and environmentalist) Leonardo DiCaprio. Cowspiracy did not only have a real effect on me, but pushed hundreds of thousands of people around the world, already sensitive to the climate issue, to make one of the most radical changes we can in terms of lifestyle, or rather modifying their diets to reduce their consumption of meat and animal products. Becoming “climatarians”.
The term was made official by American paper The New York Times when it was included in a list of new words relating to food in 2015.
The Italian word is not yet widely used but our editorial team here has decided to adopt the term 24. So there is now another category between an omnivore and a vegan. The climatarian diet is flexible, and sees the individual educating themselves so that they can become highly aware and demonstrate good judgement when choosing which foods to bring to the table. We can cut out meat and fish altogether or decided to limit our consumption to precise occasions. For example, it’s not easy to refuse food when you’re a guest. Or worse, waste it due to a matter of principle. We can limit our consumption of milk and cheese - also the result of intensive breeding - or choose to buy these foods from producers who we know adhere to criteria and practices of low environmental impact.
I have been a climatarian for two years. And I am sure that, like me, many recognise themselves in this lifestyle, which is not related to ethics or even health, but is closely linked to the desire to do something to fight (and overcome) “one of the most serious threats of our time”.