People turn to veganism for several ethical and health reasons. However, an increasing number of people who abstain from meat and other animal products are beginning to do so out of their regard for the environment. Even if their primary motivation is ethical or health-related, many vegans are aware of the favorable environmental effects of their adopted lifestyle. That’s the reason we call a vegan diet: eating for the environment.
As much as 30 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions come from food production, with animal products contributing to around 75 percent of these emissions. According to one study, “the biggest reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions were related with vegan and vegetarian diets.” Several more research projects have confirmed this. This means that choosing beans over beef could help the United States meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Plant-based diets use less water than animal-based diets for a multitude of reasons. Livestock production uses over half of the United States’ total water supply. Drinking water for animals accounts for only a small percentage of the total amount of water consumed. It takes large quantities of water to grow the crops that will be used to feed them. In order to produce one pound of beef, 1,800 to 4,000 gallons of water are needed. In comparison to legumes, beef’s water footprint per gram of protein is six times greater, according to the Water Footprint Network.
The meat business is not simply a source of harmful emissions from animal excrement. For the production, preparation, and transportation of our food, we rely on the use of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels is the world’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to 25% of global emissions.
To make it fit for human consumption, meat must be extensively processed. A procedure that consumes a significant amount of energy. One pound of beef produces roughly 31.5 kilowatt-hours of energy. Which is slightly less than the amount of electricity your refrigerator consumes in a month. Compared to animal proteins, those from beans and nuts require far less processing and so use a great deal less energy. Reduced energy use and fossil fuel emissions can be achieved by transitioning to a plant-based diet.
Using wildland for livestock feed, such as soy and maize, has an influence on biodiversity around the world. Many local animals, including monkeys, elephants, lions, wolves, and parrots, are in danger due to the increased need for land.
Adopting a vegan diet can significantly prevent species extinction by removing the need for animals and factory farm feed crops. It’s a more sustainable agriculture approach that focuses on feeding people rather than animals for slaughter.
Purify The Air
Animal agriculture can harm local air quality by producing large amounts of climate-changing greenhouse gases. Illegal manure overspray on North Carolina hog farms, for example, releases hazardous chemicals like nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. People in the area have been confined indoors to avoid the noxious odors of the hazardous air they’ve been breathing. Transitioning to a plant-based diet will significantly help to cleanse out the air.
Animal farming takes up around 30% of the planet’s land surface or 70% of all arable land. It is a large area of land that could otherwise be used for natural habitats, such as the endangered rainforests.
Thirty percent of the planet’s land surface is currently used to raise farm animals. Which could be used to cultivate crops that could feed humans. Sustaining livestock farming results in excessive grazing, which results in soil erosion, desertification, and deforestation. For example, livestock production is responsible for 70% of Amazon deforestation, as the rainforest is ravaged to make way for new pastures.
Currently, 20% of the world’s grazing area has been classified as degraded because of animal rearing for meat consumption. Due to the release of pre-stored carbon dioxide during deforestation, this practice raises greenhouse gas emissions.
There is also an impact on the environment due to cattle, which account for around 20 percent of the total animal biomass on land. In the long run, going green will rescue the planet’s topsoil, farmland, tropical forests, and much more.
Humans aren’t eating a lot of the food that’s cultivated around the world. In fact, 70% of the grain cultivated in the United States is used to feed cattle, while internationally, 83% of farmland is used to raise livestock. Food that could be consumed by humans is estimated to be wasted on cattle every year.
It is possible to create more aggregate calories (and a wider range of nutrients) by growing plants on the same land as meat, even if meat is more calorically dense than plants. Farmers could feed a greater number of people if more farmland was dedicated to growing crops for human use.
As the world’s population approaches or surpasses 9.1 billion people in 2050, it is more important than ever to grasp this concept. There just isn’t enough land in the world to farm enough cattle to feed the world’s population on a diet similar to that of the typical American. In addition, the pollution that would result from such an action is simply too much for our planet to handle.
Growing plants instead of raising animals saves time, money, and other resources. Making the switch to a vegan diet is only one way we can make a difference in how much we contribute to global warming as a species. Reduce your weekly meat consumption by one or two servings, even if you don’t want to completely eliminate meat from your diet. Going meat-free can help the environment since a meat-centric diet generates seven times as many greenhouse gas emissions as a vegetarian or vegan diet.