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UK Hospitals To Axe Meat – To Cut Carbon

From the UK’s Guardian:

Hospitals will take meat off menus in bid to cut carbon

Juliette Jowit

Monday, January 26, 2009

Meat-free menus are to be promoted in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions across the National Health Service.

The plan to offer patients menus that would have no meat option is part of a strategy to be published tomorrow that will cover proposals ranging from more phone-in GP surgeries to closing outpatient departments and instead asking surgeons to visit people at their local doctor’s surgery.

Some suggestions are likely to be controversial with patients’ groups, especially attempts to curb meat eating and car use. Plans to reuse more equipment could raise concern about infection with superbugs such as MRSA…

Last year the NHS published what it believes is the biggest public sector analysis of carbon dioxide, the biggest greenhouse gas, which showed the organisation’s emissions in 2004 were 18.6m tonnes and rising. This accounts for more than 3% of all emissions in England, and if the NHS was a country it would have been ranked as the 81st biggest polluter in the world that year, between Estonia and Bahrain.

One-fifth of the emissions were from transport, one-fifth from buildings, and the remainder from procurement, including drugs, medical equipment and food.

On Tuesday, Pencheon and the NHS chief executive, David Nicholson, will publish the strategy – Saving Carbon, Improving Health – which will set targets to cut the organisation’s carbon footprint, and proposals to meet them. It follows a government pledge last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

The plans cover all aspects of patients’ care, from building design to transport, waste, food, water and energy use.

Among the most talked-about is likely to be the suggestion that hospitals could cut carbon emissions from food and drink by offering fewer meat and dairy products. Last year, the United Nations climate chief, Rajendra Pachauri, provoked a global debate when he said having a meat-free day every week was the biggest single contribution people could make to curbing climate change in their personal lives, because of the chemicals sprayed on feed crops and the methane emitted by cattle and sheep. Last week, the German federal environment agency went further, advising people to eat meat only on special occasions. Pencheon said the move would cut the relatively high carbon emissions from rearing animals and poultry, and improve health. Last year the NHS served 129m main meals, costing £312m, according to Department of Health figures. "We should not expect to see meat on every menu," said Pencheon. "We’d like higher levels of fresh food, and probably higher levels of fresh fruit and veg, and more investment in a local economy."

Other proposals that will impact directly on patients include urging people to drink less bottled water, more phone-in surgeries by GPs, greater sterilisation and reuse of equipment, and encouraging patients, visitors and staff to leave their car at home…

The report will argue that reducing carbon emissions will cut bills for equipment, medicines, energy, water and waste services, and improve health – in the short-term for example by encouraging people to walk, in the long-term by helping to reduce the impacts of climate change.

"Unless we all take effective action now, millions of people around the world will suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the climate changes," it says.

"As one of the world’s largest organisations, the NHS has a national and international imperative to act in order to make a real difference and to set an important example."

One wonders how many other things will denied us under the guise of protecting us from climate change.

This sounds a lot better, at least to some, than announcing that they just don’t want to spend the money to give National Health Care patients meat in their meals.

And we say “us,” because clearly Britain is merely the guidepost for the socialism we are about to embrace.

By the way, the Nazis were also big proponents of “meatless” days once or twice a week.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 26th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

42 Responses to “UK Hospitals To Axe Meat – To Cut Carbon”

  1. jobeth says:

    This has real personal impact for our family with my husband being a Brit. We have watched as my father-in-law was refused active health care AND NOURISHMENT because of his age (85). It took this strong old man many weeks to die. All in the name of prioritizing where the money went…He was old, so the money had to go to the young. This thing has scared me. It is in effect euthanasia

    I am not at all surprised that now they want to cut meat (proteins) from the hospital diet as well as to treat over the phone.

    When the “surgery” (NHS office) was called because he was having TIAs or mini-strokes, they gave him an appointment weeks away.

    Here…at least at the moment…he would have been immediately been admitted to the nearest hospital…85yrs old or not and aggressively treated

    If you are familier with the UK and Europe at all, you can see we are only a few years behind them in many of the global waming/carbon footprint areas.

    So get ready folks. National Health Care is a favorite project with the left. WE MUST find a way to fight this happening here.

    Any suggestions on how to do that? I am writing letters to the powers that be but we have to do more than depend on them.

    • jrmcdonald says:

      jobeth, sorry for your loss. The greatest generation is being discarded so more children named “Mohammed” and “Osama” can be feed by the hand they will bite.

    • caligirl9 says:

      jobeth, sorry about your father-in-law. When a health care system can’t and won’t take the time to assess an 85-year old citizen and treat him properly (it sounds like your father-in-law was quite treatable and would have had an excellent quality of life), we are all in trouble. Rationing for many treatable medical conditions isn’t far behind if the U.S. goes that way (If you think about it, we sort of have that here already with California treating illegal aliens—dialysis, transplants, free birth and instant citizenship for whatever comes out. California citizens—both underinsured and the uninsured—are SOL.).

      By no means do I want to sound disrespectful, but had you flown your FiL to Mexico and then snuck him into the U.S., he’d have been treated. But he would have to have been here illegally. I think he would have responded to the treatment very well.

      I do believe that health care resources are scarce and that decisions need to be made. There are stories in the mainstream media about terminally damaged anchor babies receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars of extreme treatment (with a guaranteed no-good outcome) and illegals who get into car wrecks (alcohol usually involved) and are uninsured and drain a hospital to the point of bankruptcy, then when the hospital tries to “send ‘em home,” its administration is accused of being cruel and not caring.

      I have friends in Canada who say the system isn’t all that. Thus far they are all fairly young people, but they certainly have concerns about accessing the health care they will need when they are older.

      As for the ridiculousness of cutting meat and dairy from hospital menus, for heaven’s sake. I guess that means lots of soy, fruit, veggies and water. Never mind that you burn plenty of carbon importing those fruits and veggies; I don’t believe that GB is 100% capable of growing its own food. Not to mention that adhering to a healthy vegan diet (no animal products at all) can be quite an effort and is nearly impossible when raising children… people already have a hard enough time figuring out what they should be eating as part of a balanced diet with meat, milk and eggs on the menu.

      jobeth, send those letters to nursing organizations. Even though the organizations themselves to be very liberal-leaning and no doubt think universal health care is the way to go, they also seem to pride themselves on not excluding people from treatment.

    • jobeth says:

      @ jr and caligirl,

      Thank you both for your kind words of support. Yes he was a strong old guy. And funny. When he came over for a visit the year before…his first to the states, he was flirting with all the ladies and they loved him.

      And while he was in the hospital after hearing the docs tell us HE told THEM he didn’t want to live, we ask him…His answer? “Yes you silly booger”

      He was able to make himself understood even with a left side paralysis…which wouldn’t have happened if he had been treated for the TIAs. And yes he would have had residual effects but with therapy he could have lived happily for quite a while and he had a wonderful daughter who was preparing to have him live with her family.

      So it was all the harder when the docs wouldn’t agree to tube feedings or other IV support. He only received IV fluids sans nourishment in them. Family can’t insist. Doc make the decisions. Not to mention all my years in critical care experience. I know what could have been done. That was agony for me to watch.

      And the kicker was, Dad carried shrapnel in his leg to the day he died from his time in WWII.

      If anyone wants Nationalized Health Care out there, tell them to come talk to me.

      Jr, before I forget

      “The greatest generation is being discarded so more children named “Mohammed” and “Osama” can be feed by the hand they will bite.”

      Ironically his Dr’s name was “AWAN”. (middle eastern)

    • caligirl9 says:

      jobeth, you are very articulate. Might I suggest a letter to the editor campaign to not only nursing publication, but also physician publications as well? Politicians won’t listen to your story, but the health care industry does have lobbyists whose job it is to *make* politicians listen. Send your story to university medical and nursing schools, just to put a bug in the ears of our future physicians and nurses.

      Tell your story. It’s disgusting. I’m disgusted and I haven’t worked at the bedside in 20 years.

      Think of the thousands of dollars that were spent on Terri Schiavo. How many years was her poor abandoned body tortured? Just six months of the relatively simple treatment she got would have kept your FiL going quite nicely thank you very much!

      Nice to know that England tosses its veterans aside as well and completely as the United States does.

    • jobeth says:


      Great ideas there.

      We are going to have to start doing something soon about a lot of things that are approaching fast and not just grumbling about them.

      I will have to admit, I have been chaffing over this for a couple years now.

      I don’t think the libs know us conservs as well as they think they do.

      We can make a difference. (Yes! We Can! *wink*) We’ve been doing so since this country began. WE are of the stuff this country was made of.

      As a great American once said recently “Let’s Roll!

  2. proreason says:

    The U.K. is a step away from rationing breathing.

    They already let old people die because treating them is so expensive.

    So it seems the unwritten strategy to combat the global warning myth is: abortion, birth control for white people, euthanasia, elimination of middle class wealth, and now…..government control of what people eat.

  3. RightWinger says:

    Back in 1993, I remember watching the move “Demolition Man” (with Sylvestor Stallone and Wesley Snipes) and thinking how ridiculous they portrayed the future. A leftist “good feelings” state where everybody was sensitive and concerned about their feelings, people lojacked so they could be tracked, cursing resulted in fines, no more toilet paper, no salt, no meat, no cheese, no dairy, no physical contact, nothing. A land transformed into a utopian-leftists grandest wet dream.

    I saw the movie again on HBO the other day. Watching the Nobama team in action and the left wings loonies else where in the world, now I don’t think the Utopian plan hatched by the evil leftist (Dr. Raymond Cocteau) in the movie is such a far fetched reality anymore.

    If you have never seen the movie, rent it and see for yourself.

    • greasywrench says:

      Better yet RightWinger you should watch Idiocracy. When I first saw it a few years ago I thought it was satire. Now I realize it was Mike Judge predicting the future. It (Idiocracy) shows up on cable quite often. It’s eerie how these two movies seem to have gotten so much correct.

  4. BillK says:

    I’m surprised NHS didn’t do this years ago by painting going meat-free as the “healthy” thing to do.

    After all, when the Government is paying for your health care, they can also dictate your diet, exercise regimen and any number of other things.

    Free abortions because it will save “the cost” of pre-natal care and pregnancies?

    Stay tuned…

  5. JohnMG says:

    Think of how much they could save by not offering meals at all? Why wash the bed linen? Recycle the hypodermic needles. All of these sick people are using up the health care budget. We need to keep these hospitals open for the healthy folks care. I’m sure you all can add your own absurdities to the list.

    Once again I ask, for whom are we saving the planet?

  6. caligirl9 says:

    Using beds at all for sick people is highly overrated *wink* It’s hard on a nurses’ back, changing linen and placing bed pans and all that stuff…

    Healthy folks’ care=Hollywood liberal types’ facelifts at surgi- and recovery centers. And Nancy Pelosi’s Botox.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      May I?
      They say that they (INS) can’t find illegals here in the States. I suggest that they cruise the local ER’s and Western Unions on any given day. With particular care given to the hospitals. No Hablas hang out there for free medical service. This isn’t just on the Left coast. It is rampant everywhere and it’s a plague that is running amok. Talk about a scourge!!

      There…I just save myself a trip to the psychatrist office.
      PROZAC…….Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!!

  7. Gladius et Scutum says:

    And will the eco-marxists acknowledge the foresight of American settlers in slaughtering millions of hairy, flatulating bovids on the Great Plains? Naw.

  8. Greg England says:

    Meat-free menus are to be promoted in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions across the National Health Service.

    Please tell me this is an April fool. Please … I have to live here!

    Greg “canary in a coal mine” England

    • pinandpuller says:

      Maybe you can get some GILFS to shoot a calendar for you so you don’t have to do without when you get sick.

  9. TwilightZoned says:

    The UK can call it anything they want. It’s a ruse for cutting their high cost of national health care.

  10. TwilightZoned says:

    The UK can call it anything they’d like. In all reality it sounds like a ruse for cutting their high cost of national health care.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      In reality……it’s so the “Suits” can give themselves big fat bonuses. Screw peoples’ health care. The way they see it is that we are gonna die sometime!!
      I’m really suprised that they didn’t come out with a 4 cheese and oleo butter on a cracker with a Diet Pepsi menu!!

    • jobeth says:

      On the blog area of this story in the Guardian (see link above) one guy, who thinks meatless hospital meals are fine and dandy, reminds folks that they can go back to eating baked beans on bread for a tasty meal.

      That seems to be a favorite there…really.

      And perhaps a “Chip Buttie” (sp?) as my husband loves. That consists of french fries on bread as a sandwich!

      Talk about carbs! =:-P !

      Nasty ol’ steak…(grin)

  11. greasywrench says:

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’m amazed that this is the same country (the U.K.) that withstood Hitler during the Battle Of Britain and produced Winston Churchill only to end up epitomzing the definition of Dhimi and Political Correctness.

    The British Tommies must be rolling over in their graves at the sad state of current affairs and the beloved country that they died defending. One can only hope we wake up here in the U.S. before it’s too late and we end the same…or is it too late?

    • proreason says:

      The Brits gave it all for humanity in the 2 world wars and except for a brief resurgance under Maggie, the national psyche apparently cannot face a 3rd round. The same explains most of what is going on in Europe today as well, even Germany.

      The parallels to the 20’s and 30’s are fairly striking.

      Then there was an angry violent culture convinced that it had never achieved the destiny it was due. Then it was Germany. Today, it is the Muslim world, apoplectic because the west has proven to be the far superior culture.

      Then, there was an exhausted Europe, flat on its back after sacrificing a generation for nothing in WWI. Today, the west is exhausted from decades of stuggles with Communism and now Terrorism and the looming threat of nuclear war (bu the exhaustion is now more psychological than physical

      Then, there was a cataclysmic economic event (the Great Depression). Today, we have the manufactured economic catastrope, hyped by the Marxist power-maniacs

      Then, there was an arrogant messianic figure who had all the answers. Looking back, we know he was a perverted clown who preyed on a country’s psychosis. Today, we have the Moron, similar in every way except violence (even down to the sophmoric self-indugent autobiographies). We don’t need to look back to see that he and his puppet masters are con men preying on the good intentions of the American people.

      Te similarities are certainly alarming.

    • greasywrench says:

      Well proreason – it just gives more creedence to the old saying that “those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are condemed to repeat them”. Deja Vu all over again.

      As someone else once said, if we fight another World War we will end up fighting the next one after that with sticks and stones and the Islamofascists will win. If their goal is a seventh century society dominated by Sharia we are well on our way.

  12. jobeth says:


    You really have to read the blogs on this site. The NHS tries to answer it but most of the bloggers don’t buy in.

    There are a few supporters as this is a lib newpaper, but the amount of supporters are few.

    There is one blogger that quotes another story of NHS horror as well as an NHS worker who has a real handle on the truths…

    Give it a read. Remember this is from the horse’s mouth so to speak. This may well be our future.

  13. Lisa22 says:


    I was so sorry to hear your sad news. Ironically I used to live in the UK and just heard from one of my close friends over there about her 79 father who passed away from a stroke he had four days before. She suspected that he had ministrokes before too but the doctor refused to investigate it “Oh, it couldn’t be that!”. Naturally she is devastated as he had had a major operation about a year ago and was doing very well.

    I think if we get national health care in the U.S. it will solidify the government’s control on us forever! Sending letters and lobbying is a way to help, but what about creating Youtube videos or having some advertising agencies that specialize in politics help?? Something massive needs to happen, I’m sure, and I think the social networking media is one way to go. There must be other ways to fight back this crazy, insane program. I’ve heard many horror stories and it is like something out of a film, to be sure. I am hoping to do something myself about this, if I can!

    • jobeth says:

      Lisa, I really appreciate your comment. I am so sorry your friend’s family had to experience the same thing we did.

      I am not much of an organizer and I’m a bit of a dunce where UTube creation is concerned but if you or someone else can find or create a vehicle I can be a help in I am ready and willing to join forces where ever needed.

      We just can’t let this continue. Many lives depend on America NOT becoming a socialized medicine state.

  14. Lisa22 says:

    Hi Jobeth,

    I completely feel the same way about American lives being in danger because of becoming a socialized medicine state. There must be a way to find people who think the way we do in the advertising arena – is there a way to contact you somehow through this site about giving you an update? I wouldn’t want you to give out your email address, but maybe there is some other way to keep in touch —

    • JohnMG says:

      One of you can ask Steve to forward your e-mail to the other, referencing your post as authorization. Lots of us have done that.

    • jobeth says:

      Thanks John,

      Great suggestion, I have asked Steve to forward any emails to me from those who would like to work together toward a cause.

      If he doesn’t feel he can do that perhaps he or others have another idea how we can work together.

  15. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    How did the once mighty British empire lose its way? And will our country not be far behind? While I agree that our health care could be improved, it’s still light years ahead of any form of socialized medicine. This past November (Thanksgiving week), my mother went in for a routine checkup and the doctors found that she had arterial blockage of a serious nature. On that same day they admitted her for quadruple bypass surgery. The next day they operated on her and within two days she was up and about. She’s recovered very well and although she missed Thanksgiving she surprised us all on Christmas day at dinnertime by announcing her engagement (She’ll be seventy soon), my father passed away three years earlier. I credit her strong will to live but also our very fine system of medical care. Incidentally, our family is not of great financial means but the health care we pay for provides great care. I dread the thought of our country going the way of socialized health care. May it never happen in anyone’s lifetime.

    • jobeth says:


      Right now our health care has a few things that can surely be improved, but I (after working 15 years in critical care,…. some of it within the very type of units that gave such great care to you mother), wholeheartly agree that as a whole we have the best health care in the world.

      (So glad your mom is doing so well by the way…my best regards to her and we send our Congrats to the happy couple! Sounds like you have a great mom.)

      I would love costs to be trimmed and drug companies to stop with some of the outrageous prices but I feel safe with it is as it is now.

      The problem is that the dems have already voiced their intentions to provide health care for everyone via goverment programs. It’s coming. Or at least it is if we can’t fight it off successfully.

      They keep siting the Canadian model. Yet Canadian’s can’t get timely appointments and surgeries scheduled. Canadians come to America for their surgeries. Every country that has tried socialized medicine has bogged down in red tape and cost overruns requiring the type of prioritizing you see mentioned here in the UK. It is mess.

      Common sense says to stay away from this type of program but the libs are blind to reality and want to implement it anyway. And who said the libs were burdened with common sense anyway.

      I wish I could say we are light years away from sociaized medicine but we are not. Hilary has already made an attempt…a serious attempt, the first year Bill was in the White House. And its always talked about within the projects the libs want to see implimented. I personally know quite a few folks who think this is a wonderful idea for the US. I usually go into my story with them. I usually get looks of disbelief or otherwise blank looks. They can’t process that this is a reality in 1st world countries. I just hope I make them think.

      Now with all branches of our gov Democratic/liberal, they can move that type of project into being.

      Keep a watchful eye in the future. The attempt is coming…and not too distantly in the future.

      As far as what has happened to the great county of the UK, that is a long complicated story. It’s not only the UK but Europe as a whole that moved left. Did you know right now, the UK is not able to make a lot of soverign decisions for herself…without getting the Ok from the rest of Europe?…But that is another whole topic.

      One we Americans need to study up on, and be aware of because the rest of the world is already pressing for us to comply with those same world mandates. ie global warming, etc., etc., etc., .

      Thanks for your comment. :-D Hope if any on the left are reading they too will take time to think about this problem.

  16. Lisa22 says:

    Thanks JohnMG! I’ll do that. 13 Gauge Range, we are already unfortunately on a slippery slope with the new legislation giving kids (kids up to 30 years old??) free health care. It looks like it’s going to pass through no matter what we do. So eventually free health care may happen in our lifetime, it will just happen bit by bit. This is the way Obama did things in Illinois, through incrementing a small piece of legislation every so often. So we can count on the fact that he will do the same things as president.

  17. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the left is trying to pass all these Utopian programs in the name of fairness. But then after spending most of my life dealing with the left I’ve now come to realize it’s all about power. Socialized medicine is such a crock! If it’s the best there is to have then why did Fidel Castro have his medical situation diagnosed and operated on by Spanish doctors and not those from Cuba? I would recommend if any of you can, to get your hands on the book ‘Mig Pilot’, it’s an autobiography by former Soviet pilot Victor Belenko who defected to the west in a Mig-25 jet. Of the many passages he writes of life in the former Soviet Union, one is about the condition of socialized medicine. To be brief, he wrote of a situation in which patients with political connections or affluence were seen ahead of other patients of the working class. When the lesser patients complained about the preferential treatment and that everyone was supposed to be equal in the Soviet society, the hospital staff merely ignored the remarks. So as a young child Victor knew that something was definitely wrong with the Soviet system. Too bad the book isn’t required reading. But knowing how the lefties think, they’d have the book banned because it shatters all the lofty ideals they hold dear and wish to implement.

  18. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    jobeth, I forgot to ask, what part of England is your husband’s family from? Just curious that’s all. My late father’s side was from a place I think they called Northumbria. I’ve always wanted to see the land of my father’s heritage. But he also had a bit of Irish and Scott in him as well. A mixed lot as the English would say. I suppose the end of Britain as we know it will come when they tear down Lord Nelson’s statue in Trafalgar Square.

    • jobeth says:

      @ Gauge,

      He is from Hampshire, about 50 miles west of London but has lived in Ramsgate, Kent and Wales.

      England and the true English are beautiful. I just get sick over what is happening there with the huge middle eastern influx. Hard to get the historic feel of a beautiful old castle or the Tower of London when you are surrounded by half the middle east.

      Ahh, but such is “progress” (?). (sarcasm)

  19. jobeth says:

    After visiting the home page of the following web site, (which was given in the S & L story on ACORN funding) we may have found a good place to fight against socialized medicine


  20. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    jobeth, thanks for the reply. When I was stationed in Germany over twenty years ago my wife and I met a very friendly English woman who invited us to her house for Christmas Eve. It was there that I got to experience traditional English Christmas customs. Such as sausage pastries, mincemeat pies, Christmas crackers, and setting out milk and cookies for Father Christmas. There is definitely something to be said for genuine English hospitality. As for England being transformed by an influx of ungrateful foreigners it’s pretty much the same all across Europe from what I hear. My wife’s relatives in Sweden complain about the spike in crime in their once quiet corner of the world. And all this was brought about by the same influx of violent middle eastern immigrants. They say the city of Malmo is almost unbearable to live in because of the violent gangs of non-Swedes. As each Swede must get back in touch with their inner viking spirit and take their country back, so too must the Brits. As the combative talk show host Michael Savage once said, “Only the soccer thug can save England.” It’s sad that it’ll have to come to this but sometimes for an indigenous people to survive they have go out and start busting some heads to make the unruly behave or either drive them from their shores in order to reclaim their land and culture. Okay, I’ve rambled and vented enough. Next time I promise not to be so long winded. Or worded.

    • jobeth says:

      My favorite are the Christmas crackers…..Did you feel silly wearing the hats? I did…but all in great fun. It adds a bit of levity to look so silly. ha!

  21. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Nope, our hostess didn’t have any party hats but she was abundant in hospitality. And I loved her accent. But then again I’ve always liked the sound of English girls when they talk. Not the thick cockney but the softer accents. Swedish girls sound cute too when they speak English.

    • jobeth says:

      We might be calling two different things “crackers”

      The crackers I am talking about are the crate paper covered rolls (we call snapers here) that “crack” when pulled opened to reveal a silly paper hat that everyone don’s for the day.

      And that accent..ha, yeah, it got me too. And every other American woman he runs into here! ha! Talk about an ego booster..he can be insufferable! ha!

      We have to stop this and stay on message or we might get a wrist snap from Steve…Sorry Steve, I will behave…=:-C

  22. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    I agree. Let’s move on now to more important things. Such as the upcoming vote on the stimulus package. I’m hoping for the best but truthfully I’m a cynic and am expecting the worst..

  23. Liberals Demise says:

    WHAT…….NO TEA?

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