Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged the public to avoid consuming meat as a way to fight climate change during the celebration of the second World Meatless Lunch (WML) Day in Quezon City.

Livestock is considered one of the most significant contributors to climate change.

More than half or 51 percent of greenhouse gases emitted worldwide are linked to livestock, said Caster Deocaris of Meatless Monday Philippines.

Data showed that the world livestock population accounts for 32 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. Reducing meat consumption would likewise reduce harmful emissions by reducing demand for livestock production.

However, hazards caused by livestock do not stop with the colorless gas emissions from cattle belching, fertilizer use, manure management, or disposal of crop residues.

It also drains water resources. About 250 gallons of water are needed for wheat for a loaf of bread while five thousand gallons of water are used for grains and hay for a pound of meat, according to several studies.

DENR Secretary Regina Lopez said that meatless does not mean tasteless.

She urged the public to consume more vegetables, more fruits, and more water instead of meat.

“Diversify your food for the environment,” added Deocaris.

“If you go this way, then you will be healthy. If everyone is healthy, we will have a much, much better country,” said Lopez.

WML is a non-governmental organization launched in 2012 that aims the public to ditch meat and to eat plant-based proteins instead.