How Being a Vegan is Better for the Environment
The last few years have seen a significant rise in people converting to a plant-based diet. There are many great reasons to consider it, the most obvious one likely being the moral aspect, why kill on a mass scale if we really don’t need to? Animals are kept, often in terrible conditions to produce food stuffs for us and are then killed for before they’d reach a natural end. There are also plenty of significant and proven health benefits, greatly reducing the risk of major issues such as cancer, diabetes and cardiac disease. But did you know that it’s also beneficial for keeping this planet alive and well? Let’s take a look at a few ways a plant-based diet helps the environment.
Cutting meat out of your diet can make a major effect in reducing air pollution. You may already know that cows produce a hefty amount of methane gas when they release wind, their manure also produces huge amounts of nitrous oxide. These emissions are highly linked to global warming and to climate change, in fact animal agriculture is now considered to be more detrimental to our climate than all forms of transportation.
Fighting World Hunger
It’s no secret that there are hundreds of millions of people in the world suffering from malnutrition and hunger. In the United States 70% of the grain grown is used to feed livestock, a stunning statistic. Even animals farmed in poorer countries are fed cereal, vegetables and legumes in order to fuel this industry. In fact, 700 million tons of food, human-grade food at that, is used each year in order to feed livestock each year. This amount of food could make a huge difference in fighting world hunger, by switching to plant-based diet you’re helping to feed others too.
According to the UN the livestock industry is possibly the largest user of fresh water in the world. Naturally animals require a lot more water than plants, to put it into perspective in order to produce a pound of beef it takes somewhere between one and two hundred more times the amount of water than it does to produce a pound of plant foods. There are around 10 billion animals in the US alone so as you can imagine changing your diet makes a far bigger difference than turning of your taps or showers ever will.
The loss of the world’s rainforest is making a major impact on the worlds condition, the Amazon Rainforest is one of the worlds largest suppliers of oxygen. According to recent studies around 70% of the land previously occupied by the rainforest is now used for animal agriculture, por pastures and feeding crops. That’s a huge amount of land. In fact, approximately 30% of the earths land mass is used for raising animals for food. It is essential we have these forests, not just for producing oxygen but also for reducing carbon dioxide, regulating the climate and keeping a needed habitat for many species that will go extinct otherwise. In short, if you want to save the world go vegan, it’ll make a bigger difference than anything else you can do.