Brigitte Bardot, one-time French screen goddess turned animal rights activist, wants the European Union to institute a "Vegetarian Day" as part of the battle against global warming.
In a letter this week to European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barrosoa, Bardot said "a few weeks before the Copenhagen climate summit, I would like to draw your attention to the need to question cattle-farming, whose effects on the environment are of concern."
Quoting studies by the World Bank and the UN food agency FAO, Bardot said in the letter which was released Friday that cattle-raising not only caused high carbon emissions but also polluted soils and the water table.
"If 'developed' nations were to reduce their meat consumption, there would be less famine, which kills almost six million children each year," Bardot wrote.
"Our collective duty is to act at all levels, including by promoting a vegetarian diet," she added.
"A European 'Vegetarian Day' would be a strong symbol."