Today is the 35th anniversary of World MeatOut Day, an annual holiday created by animal-rights group Animal Outlook that tasks individuals to replace all meat with plant-based foods for one day. To analyze the environmental effect of the holiday, Spanish startup Foods for Tomorrow—makers of plant-based meat brand Huera—used database Our World in Data. On average, one person consumes 117 grams (4.1 ounces) of meat per day, which is a total of 907 tons across the 7.7 billion global human population. “​Every day we could be reducing our environmental footprint by 50,883 tons of carbon dioxide only by substituting animal meat with a plant-based one like Heura,” Foods for Tomorrow Co-Founder Bernat Añaños said. “This is the same amount of emissions generated by a car [going around] the whole world 5,214,434 times.” In terms of water usage, removing meat from the human diet for one day saves 13,191 billion liters or enough to fill 5,276,200 Olympic swimming pools. When it comes to land usage, producing Heura instead of feeding cattle frees up 23 million square meters or the equivalent of 3,226,583 soccer fields. It would also require 17,687 tons more crops (such as cereals and legumes)—the weight of 431,378 airplanes—to produce 907 tons of animal meat than it would require to produce the same amount of soy-based Heura. “The positive impact of celebrating MeatOut Day on our planet is huge, ​and probably just a few people know about it,” Añaños said. “There is a lack of information on the environmental footprint of meat consumption, ​we must deliver it because without information there is no power.”

Want more of today’s best plant-based news, recipes, and lifestyle?
Get our award-winning magazine!

Subscribe