A two-time Olympic Cycling champion has driven ‘sheep’ made from vegetables across London Bridge to urge people to ditch meat.
Victoria Pendleton, a jockey and cyclist who is among the country’s most successful women Olympians, undertook the stunt as part of World Meat Free Week this week.
The unusual awareness-raising tactic mimics the annual Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s London Bridge sheep-drive, a tradition dating back to the twelfth century.
Ms Pendleton said: “For World Meat Free Week I’m encouraging more people to try just one meat-free meal as eating fewer animal products is the single biggest way to reduce our impact on the planet.
“We need more people to sit up, take notice, and eat less meat – and we can have a big impact on the Earth’s future.”
Those behind the week-long initiative want people to adopt a plant-based ‘flexitarian’ diet, where meat is eaten once a week or less, due to its environmental impacts.
A ground-breaking report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year warned that a massive reduction in meat consumption would be among the changes needed to avoid a climate breakdown.
In rich western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by around 90 per cent to keep global temperature rises under 2C by 2050, the report found.
World Meat Free Week runs from June 17 to June 23.