Harold Banggay, youth leader from #IAmHampaslupa and Mindanaoan Youth Development Center, said:
“We are taking on the challenge of cutting down on eating meat as we are now aware of the negative impact it causes to the planet. Industrial meat production is one of the greatest contributors to climate change; it causes deforestation; air, water and soil pollution.”
“Ang mga kabatanonan diri sa siyudad sang Dabaw kay nag tapok para ipadala ang mensahe na undanagan og bawasan ang pagkaon sa meat og sa mga kabatanon karong henerasyon mao na atong himoan og importansya para makahimog kabagohan na sobra ka dako,” (The youth of Davao are challenging this system by cutting down on eating meat. Change can start form ourselves—and as youth we can make a big difference.)” he added.
Banggay, who initiated the event along with other youth groups in Davao, are already at the forefront of fighting further environmental damage but still sees the need to up the ante.
‘We have been participating in various campaigns to help protect the environment, we joined mass actions to save the oceans, break free from plastic, rehabilitate and protect waterways, and organize events to empower youth for environmental advocacy. But I can see that many of us still have not looked into what we are eating and how it contributes to damaging our planet. We need to challenge ourselves to ditch our fast-food culture, eat less meat and more locally and ecologically grown fruits, vegetables, and root crops.”
According to a Greenpeace report, our food system is currently responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Reducing meat and dairy consumption and production by 50% by 2050 could reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by 64%. Filipinos are heavy meat eaters. The 2017 Social Weather Stations Survey have shown that the largest proportion of the population (46%) eat meat a few times a week.
Greenpeace Philippines Campaigner Virginia Benosa-Llorin expressed support and admiration to these young leaders:
“We are happy that more and more young people are taking on the challenge of changing their eating habit. Shifting mindset and changing behavior on eating, especially if there is no strong support, is hard to do, we are glad that these young people are taking this on.”
Llorin also highlighted the need for government officials to implement corresponding actions—pass needed laws and implement programs to provide consumers with access to affordable, safe and nutritious food, improve support to farmers so they can sustainably produce safe, healthy and ecologically plant-based food, and to further educate young people about food as it is related to people’s health, climate change, and the livelihood of the farmers.
Find meat-free recipes and calculate your impact here: www.worldmeatfreeweek.com
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