Veganism has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason, or should we say, for good reasons. Not only does being a vegan have significant health benefits, by investing in eating delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs, but it also has an undeniable impact on the environment. By switching to a whole food plant-based diet, vegans can dramatically reduce their carbon footprint and help protect the planet from the devastating effects of climate change.
The late great, Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” In this blog post, we’ll take a deeper look at what we call, “The Vegan Effect”, and discuss why going vegan is the best way to reduce our environmental impact.
Are you still on the fence about going vegan? Continue reading, and tell us what you think at the end. Some of these reasons below may surprise you.
What could possibly be a good reason to go vegan?
Reason #1: Livestock and Land Use
The environmental impact of livestock and the use of land for animal farming is one of the major reasons why veganism and its impact on the environment has recently gained such traction in recent years. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification estimated that it takes nearly 10 pounds of grain to yield just one pound of meat, which means that much of the land used for farming animals could instead be used to produce food for people. In the United States alone, 56 million acres of land are currently being used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres are producing plants for human consumption. This is a drastic imbalance that shows how much of our land is devoted solely for animal agriculture, rather than growing food that could be consumed directly by humans. Furthermore, livestock farming requires a significant amount of water and energy to maintain, further straining resources that could be used more efficiently elsewhere.
Reason #2: Water Use
Water is an essential part of life and one of the major resources affected by humans and their impact on the environment. The meat industry requires an immense amount of water for the livestock that is used for food production. According to the U.S. Water Alliance, the production of just one pound of beef requires an average of 1,799 gallons of water, whereas it takes only 188 gallons of water to produce one pound of vegetables. This means that transitioning to a vegan lifestyle has a dramatic effect on water conservation.
Veganism also helps to reduce water contamination. Animal waste and fertilizers used to grow livestock feed have contaminated different bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater. The runoff from pollutants include nitrates, hormones, antibiotics, and other contaminants. By eliminating animal agriculture from the equation, this type of water pollution can be significantly reduced.
Reason #3: Energy Conservation
Not only does switching to a vegan diet reduce water consumption, but it also decreases the amount of energy needed for food production. Growing whole food-based foods requires far less energy than meat production does. Overall, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can have a huge positive impact on water usage and energy conservation.
Reason #4: Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Globally, the average person produces four tons of carbon dioxide each year, while the average person in the United States produces 16 tons of carbon dioxide each year! Producing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere causes the climate to get warmer. The farming of livestock produces large amounts of methane gas, which is causing the planet to warm up, leading to climate change. A vegan diet helps to reduce those emissions drastically, by not contributing to the production of those gases.
Research shows that the production of meat and dairy is responsible for up to 78% of global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, plant-based diets produce far fewer emissions than diets with animal products. For example, while producing the same amount of protein, beef emits 13 times more carbon dioxide than lentils do.
Reason #5: Deforestation
Deforestation is one of the biggest threats to the environment, and a vegan diet has been proven to help reduce it. Eating more plant-based foods means that fewer trees need to be cut down for farming. In turn, this saves more forests, which are essential for reducing global warming and preserving biodiversity. In addition to saving trees, avoiding animal products also reduces land degradation caused by grazing and allows soil erosion to be slowed down, leading to fewer carbon emissions.
The benefits of a vegan diet go far beyond saving trees and helping the environment. With a vegan diet, we can help protect the planet’s natural resources and slow down deforestation. Every time you choose to eat plants instead of animal products, you’re not only making a healthier choice for yourself and the animals, but you’re also contributing to saving the planet. Eating plants and saving the planet have never been easier or more healthy!
Reason #6: Biodiversity
Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and species extinction. Eating plants instead of animals allows us to reduce the amount of land needed for agricultural production and encourages an increase in habitats for other species.
Veganism and its impact on the environment is evident in preserving biodiversity. The livestock industry is a major contributor to the destruction of fragile ecosystems, resulting in the displacement or endangerment of wild animals. Livestock production requires vast amounts of land, which often results in forests being cleared and land converted into farmland. This creates a single-species system, which has resulted in biodiversity loss in many areas around the world.
When more people choose plant-based foods, there is less need for large-scale animal agriculture, meaning less destruction of natural habitats, fewer displacement of wild animals, and would help preserve the natural habitats and species that depend on these ecosystems for their survival.
Reason #7: Ocean Dead Zones
As global temperatures continue to rise, the world’s oceans have begun to suffer. A major environmental issue caused by climate change is the increase in ocean dead zones, areas in which there is not enough oxygen to support marine life.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 75% of our planet’s fisheries are fully or over-exploited, while land clearing and water pollution are contributing to this decline. With the world’s marine ecosystems already under immense pressure, veganism and its impact on the environment could provide a potential solution.
By choosing a vegan diet, we can help protect our oceans and reduce ocean dead zones. Our food choices have a significant impact on our planet, so it’s important to remember the power of living a vegan lifestyle and how it affects the environment when it comes to saving our oceans.
Going vegan is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help save the planet. By removing livestock and other animal-derived products from your diet, you can lower your carbon emissions significantly. Eating a whole food-based diet also reduces water use, decreases deforestation, promotes biodiversity, and decreases ocean dead zones. In other words, when you eat plants and go vegan, you’re doing something meaningful to help the environment. As more people make the switch to a vegan lifestyle, the more potential there is for global change.
With so many amazing vegan recipes available these days, it’s never been easier to go vegan and make a difference. How to lower carbon emissions on a vegan diet? Simply eat more plants and save the planet!
Now that you know better, will you do better? Start your journey today by eating more plants. To supplement your diet with vegan sourced nutrients, check out our 100% plant-powered supplements at: https://www.vedji.life