What You Probably Didn’t Know About Veganism and the Environment

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While veganism is often spoken about in terms of animal rights, it is also a much greener alternative to a meat-based diet.

A vegan diet will produce around 7x less greenhouse gas emissions than that of a meat-eater.

Raising animals for food is wildy inefficient, and that inefficiency is having a calamitous impact on the environment.

Greenhouse gas emissions, inefficient water use and deforestation – these are all effects of a meat-based diet.

By going vegan you can greatly reduce your environmental footprint. Or, if that’s too radical, simply consider reducing the amount of meat in your diet.

In fact, if every American dropped just one serving of chicken per week from their diet, it would save the same amount of C02 emissions as taking half a million cars off the road.

How much meat do you eat in your diet? Would you ever consider going vegan? Leave a comment or tell us on Twitter, @GreenerIdeal.

  • Greener Ideal Staff

    Greener Ideal helps you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips and commentary on the latest environment news. We want to protect the planet and reduce our collective carbon footprint.

3 thoughts on “What You Probably Didn’t Know About Veganism and the Environment”

  1. I’d like all vegan sources in the future to be able to verify their facts with scientific data. As a vegan, I feel this is very important for our cause. Displaying a diagram, but not clearly showing the information source, is just as good as lying. I have interviewed the FAO of the UN for example, and while I do not know if I believe them 100%, they say animal agriculture accounts for only 18% of global GHG emissions. Cowspiracy claims its 51%. The FAO said there is no feasible way to reach that figure, even on a stretch. I don’t know who to beleive, and I am already a vegan anyway, but representing vegans with scientific data that would be accepted as “truth” by the majority would go a long way.

    • In 2009 the Worldwatch Institute published “Livestock and Climate
      Change,” which carefully assessed the full contribution to
      greenhouse-gas emissions (GHGs) of the world’s cattle, buffalo, sheep,
      goats, camels, horses, pigs, and poultry. An earlier report by the
      United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization had pegged that
      contribution at 18 percent, worse than cars and trucks. That’s shocking
      enough, but the Worldwatch study’s authors, two analysts from the World
      Bank, found that the FAO hadn’t taken into account the CO2 breathed out
      by our 22 billion livestock animals, the forests being felled to make
      room for pasture and feed crops, or the total impact of the 103 million
      tons of methane belched into the air by ruminants each year. When
      everything was tallied up, Worldwatch estimated, livestock were on the
      hook for 51 percent of GHGs.

  2. The point about clearing forest is of doubtful accuracy. There is more forest now than there was a hundred years ago, more than in 1940, more than at the first Earth-day in 1970. Of course, the new forests does not replace the old growth forests, but logging today is done in new forest. And by the way, the east coast was not covered in forest at the arrival of the Europeans, only about a third of it was. Natural wildfires, and fires set by native Americans, routinely cleared vast swaths of old forests on the east coast. In the U.S. today there are 13.2 million acres of old growth, i.e. large trees 200 years of age or older. The vast majority of these trees will remain in their natural condition and will never be harvested due to legal and regulatory prohibitions on logging and road building. Also, the grain being consumed by animals is mostly grain considered inedible or unfit for human consumption.


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