How To Eat Less Meat

Reducing your meat consumption is one of the most effective ways individuals can help tackle climate change. The following are some ideas to help you to reduce your meat consumption, and to encourage others to do likewise.

See also, our vegetarian recipe booklets.

1. Enjoy a weekly meat free day

Choose one day each week to be eat a completely meat-free diet. It can be the same day each week, or you could move it around depending on your commitments. It helps to choose a day where you know you will have control over your meals.

On your meat-free day, make sure you eat plenty of fresh food, including legumes (eg. beans, peas, lentils, tofu), nuts, and/or seeds (eg. sunflower or sesame seeds). Also enjoy some dark leafy greens (eg. broccoli, spinach or silver beet). These will ensure you get plenty of protein and iron.

Not sure how to cook delicious meat-free meals? From time to time, ARRCC and partner organisations hold fun, hands-on Meat Free Cooking Workshops.

2. Encourage your faith community to do likewise

Spread the message about the role of meat consumption and production in climate change and food insecurity. Connect this with teachings and practices concerning global justice in relation to food, the compassionate treatment of animals, non-violence, and health.

When you have a meal in your faith community, make sure that meat-free options are available.

Many traditions fast from meat at various times of the year, such as Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Others, such as Hindus, are traditionally vegetarian. Those of us who haven't thought about our meat eating habits can learn from these traditions.


3. Host a meat free meal at your house

All you need to do is invite a small group of friends over to your place one evening or on a weekend, cook for them and enjoy a delicious meal together!


4. Offer meat free meals at events and conferences

In the same way that many organisations have taken an ethical stance by only using only ethically grown tea, coffee and chocolate, you could introduce an ethical stance on meat consumption into your events. You could have gourmet veggies sandwiches at lunch, or delicious vegetarian curries and stir fries for dinner. If an entirely meat-free meal seems too difficult, try providing some great meat-free options and reducing the amount of meat accompanying it.

A decision to serve a meat-free meal at your next event, will not only be a small but effective way of responding to the challenges of climate change and global hunger, but will also help spread the word to many people beyond your own circle of influence.

5. Encourage a Meat Free Day at a local school

Schools are a great place to encourage a Meat Free Day. ARRCC can help by organising a speaker to talk to the students about meat consumption and how to make sustainable food choices.



Appreciate it. But respect where it is coming from and eat it in moderation.

  • Use the money you are saving from reducing your meat consumption to buy good quality fresh produce.
  • Always look for the most humane options, like true free range. For example, when buying eggs, try to buy free range eggs from a brand which ONLY sells freerange, rather than one that sells a range of cage eggs, barn laid and free range. Also, if your looking for grass-fed beef, make sure it is “grass finished” or “100% grass fed” - much Australian cattle is grass fed until it is "finished" in a feedlot.
  • Choose organic meat where you can. Certified organic producers are looking after the land, and must also practise high animal welfare standards. You will also avoid eating unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals, and reduce your exposure to infectious disease hazards that are probably associated with concentrated animal feeding operations.
  • Think about buying from your local butcher rather than your supermarket, where you can talk to the butcher about where the meat comes from. Many butchers know the farmers they buy from and can tell you about the farming practices.
  • Sheep and cattle farmers that use cell grazing, whether or not they have an organic certification, are also sequestering more carbon in the soil.
  • Also consider the type of meat you're eating. A good general rule of thumb is that the bigger the animal, the larger the associated emissions. According to the UK Government's Department for Food and Environment, the following emissions are associated with each type of meat (with eggs and soybeans provided as comparison):
Food CO2 equivalents
Beef (1kg)   34.6 kg CO2
Lamb (1kg)   17.4 kg CO2
Pork (1kg)   6.4 kg CO2
Chicken (1kg)   4.6 kg CO2
Eggs (1kg)   2.5 kg CO2
Soybeans (1kg)   0.9 kg CO2

Also avoid processed meats as much as possible, since more processing means a bigger carbon footprint and much of the research on health and red meat consumption is related to processed red meats.


Download recipes

You can download copies of the recipe books followed in the workshops to try them out yourself!

       Download May 2011 Recipes              Download October 2012 Recipes
Recipe_Book_2011   Recipe_book

More information

For some great vegetarian recipes, see:

For food and nutrition information, see: