Arnold Says Hasta La Vista To Meat. Here’s Why He Thinks You Should Too

“I feel fantastic”

It’s summertime, which means one thing and one thing only: It’s barbecue season and the meat is sizzling. But a few unexpected celebrities have teamed up to let you know that no matter how delicious a thick, juicy, sauce-smothered, flame-grilled burger sounds, it comes at a cost you might not expect.

“The second biggest sector for production of greenhouse gases is animal agriculture,” famed Titanic director James Cameron says in a new PSA with WildAid.

The PSA, filmed in support of China’s new initiative to get its citizens eating less meat, also stars former California Governor (and forever Terminator) Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I feel fantastic,” Arnold adds in the PSA of his new greens-heavy diet. And he may not be alone for long.

Nearly a month ago, the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission released its new dietary guidelines, suggesting its 1.3 billion citizens drastically reduce their intake of meat and dairy.

The guidelines come after the country saw an “explosion” of childhood obesity in rural areas. In April, Joep Perk, cardiovascular prevention spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology, said in a statement, “This is extremely worrying. It is the worst explosion of childhood and adolescent obesity that I have ever seen… China is set for an escalation of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and the popularity of the western lifestyle will cost lives."

The new guidelines are asking citizens to cut consumption to 200 grams of meat per day. As QZ reports, the average Chinese citizen currently consumes 254 grams of meat and 142 grams of dairy a day.

As Schwarzenegger points out in an interview with Vanity Fair, “They’re picking up all our bad habits and applying them to a middle-class that’s bigger than the entire population of America.”

But beyond meat’s impact on human wellness, livestock farming is also doing a number on the health of our planet.

As WildAid reports, meat production and the housing of livestock accounts for about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.


So does this mean you need to ditch your hamburger, with cheese, forever? No, certainly not, but perhaps think about grabbing a veggie burger or a salad every now and then instead.

As Li Junfeng, director general of China’s National Center on Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, tells The Guardian, it truly does take all of us to make a difference.

“Tackling climate change involves scientific judgement, political decisions, entrepreneurial support, but at last, it still relies on involvement of the general public to change the consumption behavior in China,” Junfeng says. “Every single one of us has to believe in the low-carbon concept and slowly adapt to it.”

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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