8 Facts That Prove How Being Vegan Saves The Planet
Keep reading for 10 facts about how eating more plants helps save the planet!
1. Eating more plants means considerably less deforestation for animal agriculture – Forbes
‘Meat and dairy provide only 18% of our calories and 37% of our protein, yet use up 83% of our farmland.’ Friends of the Earth estimates that around 6m hectares of forest land a year – an area equivalent to Latvia or twice the size of Belgium – and a similar acreage of peat and wetlands elsewhere, is converted to farmland a year. Of that, it says, most goes to livestock or to grow the crops to feed the cattle.’
2. It also means less greenhouse gas emissions – Forbes
‘Livestock production is the single largest contributor of emissions around the globe (more than planes, trains and cars combined), removing it from our food system could allow the planet to regenerate. Raising animals for food is also the largest contributor to wildlife extinction around the world. There’s no dancing around it, we're eating the planet one bite at a time.’
3. Less livestock means much less water consumption – Wired
‘Every kilogram of beef produced requires around 15,400 litres of water, according to a report from UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education. In total, almost a third of the world’s fresh water usage goes into animal products. This is mainly due to the vast quantities of crops needed to feed animals.
Vegetables, on the other hand, require just over 300 litres per kilogram while cereal crops require 1,600 litres. Water pollution from animal waste and fertilisers can also end up choking lakes of oxygen, poisoning fish and degrading water supplies.’
4. And more energy that could be used elsewhere – PETA
‘A dairy farm with 2,500 cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.’
5. ‘Veganism combats world hunger’ – Global Citizen
‘The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire current human population of the Earth. If we ate the grain ourselves, instead of funnelling it through animals on farms first, there would be more than enough to end world hunger.’ PETA
6. Veganism cleans our soil – Global Citizen
‘Similar to how livestock pollutes water, they also erode and weaken soil. [...]
Raising a diversity of plants, instead, nourishes soil and leads to long-term resilience.’
7. Biodiversity is key in combating climate change – PETA
‘Meat consumption is thought to be one of the leading causes of modern species extinctions. As land is cleared for animals to graze or to grow feed for them, wildlife is losing out.’
18. Eating less meat makes us less prone to disease – The Guardian
‘Animal waste contains many pathogens including salmonella, E Coli, cryptosporidium, and faecal coliform, which can transfer to humans through water run-off or manure or touch. In addition, millions of pounds of antibiotics is added to animal feed a year to speed the growth of cattle. But this contributes to the rise of resistant bacteria, and so makes it harder to treat human illnesses.’
By Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.