Not Serving Red Meat at Church Sponsored Events

Resolved, That the 169th Convention for the Diocese of California suggest to all parishes to restrain from serving red meat at church sponsored events;

Resolved, That the Diocese of California aspires to advance care of Creation with an emphasis on protecting the heath and welfare of all God’s creatures (human and non human)

Resolved, That the Diocese recommend that all parishes in the Diocese commit to not serving red meat at church-sponsored functions such as Lenten meals, receptions and dinners.

 

Explanation: Meat production (particularly that from ruminant animals) is a major contributor to climate change, due to land use changes and the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, most notably methane and nitrous oxide. 7-9

Global climate change is an enormous health threat, both in California and around the United States. Observational epidemiologic studies have found that greater red meat consumption is associated with increases in cardiovascular, cancer, and all-cause mortality.3-6  Meat production is associated with a variety of other negative environmental consequences including excessive water use, land and water pollution from manure runoff, and excessive antibiotic use. 7,9,10

Consequences of global climate change fall disproportionately on poor people and poor countries, those least responsible for the excess greenhouse gases causing it. 11

As the impact of red meat consumption on health and the environment has become clear, continuing to serve red meat at church-sponsored functions makes a statement that is inconsistent with the Diocese of California mission and values.

 

Submitted By: The Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, Canon for the Environment for the Diocese of  California

 

REFERENCES

1.         McMichael T, Montgomery H, Costello A. Health risks, present and future, from global climate change. BMJ. 2012;344:e1359.

2.         Crowley RA, for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians. Climate Change and Health: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(9):608-610.

3.         Pan A, Sun Q, Bernstein AM, et al. Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(7):555-563.

4.         Larsson SC, Orsini N. Red meat and processed meat consumption and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2014;179(3):282-289.

5.         Wang X, Lin X, Ouyang YY, et al. Red and processed meat consumption and mortality: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Public Health Nutr. 2016;19(5):893-905.

6.         Etemadi A, Sinha R, Ward MH, et al. Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2017;357:j1957.

7.         United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. 2006: http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM. Accessed June 7, 2017.

8.         Tilman D, Clark M. Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature. 2014;515(7528):518-522.

9.         Potter JD. Red and processed meat, and human and planetary health. BMJ. 2017;357:j2190.

10.       Eshel G, Shepon A, Makov T, Milo R. Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(33):11996-12001.

11.       Althor G, Watson JE, Fuller RA. Global mismatch between greenhouse gas emissions and the burden of climate change. Nature Sci Rep. 2016;6:20281.

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