Norwegian army goes vegetarian… to fight global warming

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Norway’s military is taking drastic steps to ramp up its war against global warming. The Scandinavian country announced its soldiers would be put on a vegetarian diet once a week to reduce the military’s carbon footprint.

“Meatless Monday’s” has already been introduced at one of Norway’s main military bases and will soon be rolled out to others, including overseas bases. It is estimated that the new vegetarian diet will cut meat consumption by 150 tons per year.

“It’s a step to protect our climate,” military spokesman Eystein Kvarving told AFP. “The idea is to serve food that’s respectful of the environment.”

“It’s not about saving money,” Kvarving added. “It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.”

The United Nations says that livestock farming is responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting meat consumption, environmentalists argue, would help stem global warming and improve the environment.

“The defense ministry deserves a lot of praise because it’s taking climate and environmental issues seriously,” Arild Hermstad, the director of the Future in Our Hands — an environmental group that has campaigned for Norwegians to cut meat consumption — told AFP.

The Future in Our Hands says that the average Norwegian eats more than 1,200 animals in the course of their life — amounting to 1,147 chickens, 22 sheep, six cattle and nearly three deer.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a U.S. physician, also said that the diet could have the added benefit of reducing heart disease and stroke among people. Esselstyn said people should avoid “any food that ever had a mother or a face.”

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