The Environmental Benefits of Going Vegan
When you think of veganism, what comes to mind? Do you think of a life without cheese or bacon? If so, then this blog post is for you. This blog post will discuss the environmental benefits of going vegan and how much it can potentially help reduce emissions in our atmosphere.
First, it is important to know that livestock and their byproducts make up at least 15% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To give you some perspective on this statistic, transportation accounts for only 13%. This means that more GHGs are emitted from our food choices than anything else we do – yes – even driving a car! The main culprit? Cows.
According to Veganuary: “Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from every plane, train, ship, and vehicle on Earth.” Doesn’t sound so appetizing now does it? Another fun fact about cows- they produce 150 billion gallons of blood every day. Enough said…
So, how can we help reduce these emissions? The answer is as easy as switching to a vegan diet. Many people are afraid that if they give up meat, dairy, and other animal-based products, then they will have to deal with hunger. This is not the case though according to One Green Planet: “It takes around 13 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef.”
Let’s do some math. If you stop buying beef for two weeks, this will save 2561 gallons of water! Now imagine doing this daily – at least it cannot hurt right? The United Nations estimates that globally 30% more food can be produced by 2050 without clearing additional land or disturbing natural habitats by shifting from livestock farming to well-managed vegetable farming. Wouldn’t you rather eat vegetables instead anyways? Plus, when we don’t buy meat… fewer animals are being slaughtered.
The Vegan Society states: “Going vegan is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth – and of course, it’s also one of the most effective ways you can look after your health too.” By going vegan and not eating any animal products, you will be helping our environment by reducing meat related GHGs. Also, if everyone were to go vegan just for January (and then resume their omnivore diets), this would save 70 billion gallons of water! What’s more than that?! It takes 660 gallons of water to produce one glass of milk- or 50 showers worth…
A vegan diet has been proven to be better for climate change than a meat-based diet. According to one study, “a plant-only food system would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 63%. A widespread switch from beef and lamb to pork and chicken would cut emissions by 34%.” This is nothing to snub your nose at.
Skipping out on animal products would drastically reduce emissions, but vegan snacks are also a big help with that! A study found that “if Americans switched from beef jerky and almonds to hummus and pretzels they could cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost half.” This shows us how small changes can make a huge impact on our world.
Veganism isn’t just good for reducing climate change, it can be great for other reasons as well such as health benefits or saving money. Make sure you read more into this topic if you haven’t already because we need everyone’s help making these changes happen today! After all, tomorrow may be too late…
In conclusion, going vegan can help reduce your carbon footprint and it has the potential to save water, food/land resources, energy use, and more. Veganism is a choice you make every day by what you eat – so why not choose this lifestyle that will benefit the environment? Let’s go green!