This Labor Day weekend, the Center for Biological Diversity is urging people to help save wildlife by turning their end-of-summer cookouts into extinction-free barbecues. Labor Day is one of the top meat-consumption days of the year, giving it one of the biggest environmental footprints of any American holiday.
The Center’s Extinction-free BBQ initiative includes facts on how meat consumption affects the health of people and the planet, wildlife-friendly tips and an “extinction-free” menu with plant-based recipes contributed by Alicia Silverstone (The Kind Diet), Bryant Terry (Afro-Vegan), Vegan Black Metal Chef and other top vegan chefs and bloggers. The recipes include classics, such as “easy portabella burgers” and “creamy macaroni salad” as well as new favorites like “barbecue sweet potato and chile peanut tacos.”
“Most Americans celebrate Labor Day by relaxing around a meat-laden grill with their families, but climate change and wildlife extinction don’t get a day off,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center. “We wanted to show how easy — and delicious — it is to enjoy the holiday without sacrificing the planet.”
Extinction-free BBQ is part of the Center’s Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign, which highlights meat production as one of the main drivers of climate change, habitat loss, water scarcity, pollution and wildlife endangerment.
The campaign urges people to eat less or no meat as one of the best ways to reduce their environmental footprint. Cutting just one-third of the meat from your diet can save as much as 340,667 gallons of water, more than 4,000 square feet of land, and the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving 2,700 fewer miles a year.
Nearly 20,000 people have taken the Earth-friendly Diet Pledge to reduce their meat consumption.
“Labor Day weekend may mark the unofficial end of summer, but it can also mark a new beginning of eating an Earth-friendlier diet,” said Feldstein. “Choosing to eat more veggies and less meat can have a profound effect on your own health, as well as the health of wildlife and the planet.”
Additional information, including the full Extinction-free BBQ menu and the “A Tale of Two Barbecues” infographic featuring facts about the impact of meat consumption on wildlife and human health, can be found at www.ExtinctionFreeBBQ.com .
The Center’s Population and Sustainability program addresses the connections between unsustainable human population growth, overconsumption and the wildlife extinction crisis. For more information about Take Extinction Off Your Plate or to take the Earth-friendly Diet Pledge, visit www.TakeExtinctionOffYourPlate.com .