In order to reduce the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and other health issues, China’s health ministry released new dietary guidelines in May 2016, with the stated goal of decreasing their citizens’ meat consumption by half. With more than 1.35 billion residents, China has become the world’s largest consumer of meat, with projections that current national meat consumption will increase over 47 percent by 2030.
The Chinese Nutrition Society, a non-profit scientific research organization committed to bringing about improvements in human health since 1945, is partnering with the United States-based environmental organization WildAid to encourage consumers to embrace the new dietary guidelines to protect the environment and improve public health. On June 20, 2016, the two groups launched a campaign which will produce and distribute a series of public-service announcements and billboards featuring celebrities to raise awareness about the harmful effects of meat consumption on personal health and the environment. English-language versions of the campaign will be released in the United States by Climate Nexus and My Plate, My Planet.
The first public-service announcement will feature Terminator star and former California, USA governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oscar winning Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron. Mr. Cameron, a vegan and environmental activist, has commended the Chinese government’s action, saying:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, also known for being a champion bodybuilder, winning the title of Mr. Universe five times and Mr. Olympia seven times, has been emphasizing the health benefits of plant-based foods. He admitted that his doctors have been encouraging him to eliminate meat and dairy, and said: “I’m slowly getting off meat and I tell you, I feel fantastic.”
Our sincere appreciation to China’s health ministry for its leadership in promoting a more plant-based diet to benefit human health and the environment. We also thank the Chinese Nutrition Society, WildAid, Climate Nexus, My Planet, My Plate, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger for their efforts in encouraging consumers to change their eating habits, and thus help reverse climate change.
Photo Credit: DmitryP-Vegetable stall in a Market, Beijing-1July2009-flickr-CCBY2.0