China’s communist government has hired Hollywood bigwigs to promote its new campaign to get people to cut their meat consumption in half in the name of fighting global warming.
China’s health ministry has put out new dietary guidelines that call for citizens to cut their meat consumption by more than 50 percent, from 139 pounds per year to between 31 pounds and 59 pounds.
That’s a steep cut in meat eating for the world’s largest consumer of pork, so the communist government hired Hollywood superstars Arnold Schwarzenegger and director James Cameron to star in a series of PSAs on why they think eating less meat is good for the planet, according to The Guardian.
“The second-biggest sector for production of greenhouse gases is animal agriculture,” Cameron says in one PSA sitting on the set of his next “Avatar” movie. “Hey, how can I call myself an environmentalist when I’m contributing to environmental degradation by what I eat?”
“I’m slowly getting off meat,” Schwarzenegger said, talking about how his doctors told him to eat less meat for his health. “And I tell you, that I feel fantastic.”
Filming the Cameron and Schwarzenegger PSA on the set of the “Avatar” sequel is no coincidence. The movie is about human exploitation of the environment. The PSA even shows Schwarzenegger walking blindfolded on a “deforestation” set.
The first Avatar film was essentially a CGI-version of the children’s film “FernGully.” In the movie, an evil corporation colonizes an alien world to mine a material called “unobtainium,” but that mining harms the natural balance of the planet and the lives of the Na’vi, the alien race that lives there.
“Less meat, less heat, more life,” Schwarzenegger says at the end of the PSA.
Chinese officials think the new dietary guidelines will cut greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock by 1 billion metric tons by 2030. China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas producer and has signed onto a United Nations agreement to peak emissions by 2030.
“Through this kind of lifestyle change, it is expected that the livestock industry will transform and carbon emissions will be reduced,” Li Junfeng, director general of China’s National Center on Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, told The Guardian.
“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,” he said. “Every single one of us has to believe in the low-carbon concept and slowly adapt to it.”
But convincing Chinese people to eat less meat may be difficult, since they still eat much less per person than wealthier countries, like the U.S. and Australia. Not to mention that meat was once called “millionaire’s meat” in the 1980s but is commonplace today.
Environmentalists, however, are backing Chinese government cuts in dietary requirements.
“China’s move to cut meat consumption in half would not only have a huge impact on public health, it is a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions and reaching the goals set out in the Paris agreement,” Cameron said, repeating the communist country’s statistics.
“Animal agriculture emits more than all transportation combined. Reducing demand for animal-based foods is essential if we are to limit global warming to 2C as agreed at COP21,” he said.
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