How Does Veganism Help the Environment – A Telling Study

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Hello again,

Hello everyone! I hope all of you are having a wonderful day.  Hopefully winding down from a busy day or enjoying your day off.  Recently, I have had the pleasure of stumbling across this study, Reduce, Reuse, Go Vegan, on how does veganism help the environment.

Land Use More Harmful Then Gas Exhaust?

Yes, land use for agriculture and deforestation produces more Green House Gases (GHG) then all of the automotive in the world.  The stats are that 9.1% of all GHG’s in the world come from automotive while an alarming 24% of all GHG’s come from land use.  So first off, I have no idea what Greenhouse Gases are and how they affect our environment.  So I looked it up for both You and I.  Courtesy of Merriam-Webster online dictionary, Greenhouse Gases are any of various gaseous compounds (such as carbon dioxide or methane) that absorb infrared radiation, trap heat in the atmosphere, and contribute to the greenhouse effect

Thank you Merriam-Webster.  Now I can identify the harm that GHG’s can create in our living space.  This article goes on to say that Carbon Dioxide is responsible for around 81% of GHG emissions.  Methane adds to GHG by around 11% which comes from natural gas and agricultural emissions.  However,  Methane is more potent then carbon dioxide in regards to global warming potential (GWP).  Methane is 86 times more capable of trapping heat then carbon dioxide.  So that puts things in perspective.

Livestock and Its Lifestyle Longevity

The Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), said that the livestock industry accounted for 18% of global GHG emissions.  They also said that the livestock industry was responsible for 75% of agriculture sector emissions.  Back to Methane now.  Methane is produced through enteric fermentation which is done by farm animals digestion and manure management.  Enteric fermentation is only a part of the problem

Here is a list of the other harmful links of livestock on the environment.

  • Climate Change (from the methane emisssions produced from livestock operations that contribute to Greenhouse Gases)
  • Loss of Biodiversity (which in simple terms in lack of diversity between plants and animals)
  • Deforestation (cutting down plants and trees to hoard tons of livestock)
  • Spread of Disease (through uncooked meat and other animal illness)
  • Erosion
  • Air and Water Pollution (caused by Greenhouse Gases)
  • 60% of all corn and barley grown goes to animal feed ( which we have to make room for when it could be land used for other purposes)
  • Demand for meat is 5 times more then what it was 50 years ago.

Livestock-grass-fields

Evidence is clear, We need a change

If we continue in the next 5o years to multiply our demand for meat by 5 times of that what we consume now then there is going to be serious consequences. We need to seriously rethink our meat intake and find more of an alternative solution.  We can not keep putting out more carbon dioxide and methane into our atmosphere through livestock habitation.  Which in turn, traps more heat in the atmosphere which can alter our living space as human beings.

Also, studies have shown that more fossil fuel energy is used to produce one calorie of meat versus one calorie of grain protein.  The finding is 28 calories of fossil fuel compared to 3 calories of fossil fuel.  Creating a plant based diet is proven to help the environment in being more self efficient which leads to a decrease in potential harm to our planet and air space.

More findings are found in this peer reviewed article that I have just read if you are interested in reading more.  Just see below.  It is a very good read and a quick one at that.

 

Thanks for reading everyone.  As always here is the website that I wrote this article on.  

Peer Reviewed Reference

https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&amp=&context=psr&amp=&sei-redir=1&referer=https%253A%252F%252Fscholar.google.com%252Fscholar%253Fhl%253Den%2526as_sdt%253D0%25252C47%2526as_ylo%253D2015%2526q%253DScientific%252BVegan%252Bfacts%2526btnG%253D#search=%22Scientific%20Vegan%20facts%22

 

Eric

Hello I'm Eric and I am striving to educate people about plant based diets. I enjoy bowling, gardening and nature in my free time. Marilyn and I hope you find our site helpful in learning about a proper Vegan diet.

12 Responses

  1. Great article!. The increase in meat consumption has been documented to be connected to a rise in the world middle-class population. As more finance become’s available people switch to eating a, and pardon the expression “richer” diet and elect of Beef rather than a bowl of rice.

    The environmental and ecological issues are rather complex, not all one-sided. As vegan population increase in numbers, vast swathes of forests get converted to agricultural lands removing all important trees that convert CO2 into air we breathe. Also, the animals get “evicted” from their lands and as they return, end up electrocuted by a fence to keep them off the land and from eating the produce or shot by a farmer protecting his land and income source.

    It is not as easy as saying “veganism help the environment”. It is a very complex issue and needs a lot more high-level studies to find proper solutions. Rice, for example, produces more CO2 than cows do methane.

    I am not a vegan, neither do I agree with eating a living being, but the whole veganism is good for the environment is a myth there is the downside – every ying has its yang as they say.

    I sit on the fence in regards to this debate, a lot more science and research required from both parties before I will decide.

    • Thank you for the post Derek. I totally get what you are saying. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this article on what if the whole world started to use all of this land for plants. That is the big question mark. However, I wonder how all of these animals would survive in the wild. Its a good fence to be on.⁹

  2. Hi, I do agree with you. We need change and start taking better care of our planet and our animals. There are many negative consequences due to people not taking care of themselves and/or the environment. Thanks for the post.

  3. Hi, great post. I didn’t know that livestock is so harmful for environment. People definitely need to change their eating habits. However, the problem is that using plant diet it’s difficult to supply all of the amino acids.

  4. Thank you for this article. It explains a lot about what’s happening to our planet and that we need to do something about it. I’m with you 100% on this. I’m totally against the deforestation of our planet. We need trees to breathe. And just thinking about the way they treat the livestock. We definitely need a change, and soon.

  5. I think the vegetarian-vegan movement has picked up in recent years, so I don’t think we’ll continue on the same destructive path we’ve been on for the next fifty years. Since 2015, I’ve noticed a nice little uptick not only in the offering of more vegan-friendly products and even product manufacturing, but also more and more people purchasing such product.

    What I think the problem lays is and has always been for any industry, especially meat, would be government subsidies, where subsidizing such industry over the course of decades has left us worse off. If we continue to see the rise in demand for vegetarian or vegan-based product, we can definitely look to provide some competition, but if we can get government out of the equation of subsidizing such industry giants, competition will become fiercer and definitely a change will be provided here. 

    • Yes Todd I agree completely. It first starts with education.  I hope this site can offer the facts to many people so that we the consumer can change the market.

  6. Interesting never thought of it in that way. I mean, the natural order of things is that the cattle eat from the land and fertilizes the land. It seems now and days everything is being manufactured and enhanced by technology. That’s what makes so hard in the grocery store. Everything “organic” is super expensive, and you can’t even trust the label now and days. 

    • Very good point Shamane.  That is one of the factors why Marilyn and I are making the switch to veganism.  We do not know what to trust anymore.

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