This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chinese Government Understands the Health and Climate Impact of Eating Too Much Meat

The Chinese are not the biggest meat-eaters in the world on a per-person basis, as I noted a few months ago, but the country has so many people that they actually are the biggest meat consumers in the world, and the overall consumption has been rising quickly. Fortunately for the world, it seems that the Chinese government has realized that this is a huge problem both for the climate and for health, and is trying to do something about it, according to Brad Plumer of Vox.com.
Here in the US, the Obama administration has been reluctant to encourage people to eat less meat for health and environmental reasons. The 2015 US Dietary Guidelines, for instance, remained fairly muted on the topic after fierce lobbying by the meat industry.
But in China, where livestock emissions are soaring and obesity is on the rise, officials are being far less circumspect. The Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS) is now enlisting celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, director James Cameron, and actress Li Bingbing in a nationwide campaign urging people to cut their meat consumption in half — in line with new dietary recommendations. 
The campaign, taglined "Less Meat, Less Heat, More Life," will tout the climate benefits of lower meat consumption and feature PSAs on billboards and televisions across China.
Government campaigns of this kind have been helpful in reducing smoking in the U.S. and elsewhere, and we can hope that this campaign in China will not only be successful, but will set a trend for other countries to follow. 

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