Sunday 6 August 2023

Vegans have just 30% of the dietary environmental impact of high-meat eaters.

This is about cat owners becoming vegans as they should because they love cats and should love animals and if you love animals, you should love nature and if you want to protect nature and the animals that live in it you should do you bit to stop global warming!! Phew.

Vegans harm the planet a lot less than meat-eaters. No surprise, I guess. Here are some details from an Oxford University study: Low meat diets reduce environmental harm from food production.
  • Vegans have just 30% of the dietary environmental impact of high-meat eaters;
  • Vegans also had just 25% of the dietary impact for land use;
  • Vegans have just 46% of the dietary impact for water use;
  • Vegans have just 27% of the dietary impact for water pollution;
  • Vegans have just 34% of the dietary impact for biodiversity (i.e. detriments to biodiversity).
The study concluded “that even the least sustainable vegan diet was still more environmentally-friendly than the most sustainable meat eater’s diet.” And that doesn’t include the abuse and killing of animals.

Vegans have just 30% of the dietary environmental impact of high-meat eaters.
Deforestation for cattle farming. Image in public domain.

The researchers took information from over 55,000 individuals. The scientists are from the Livestock, Environment and People project at the University of Oxford. The participants classified themselves as vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or meat eaters.

Data on the environmental impact of their diets was assessed in relation to biodiversity loss, water pollution risk, water use, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

It took into account how and where the food was produced. There were substantial variations according to where and how the food was produced. But the relationship between environmental impact and animal-based food consumption is clear they said.

They want action to reduce production and consumption of meat. The report on the project is published in Nature Food.

The global food system as they called it is responsible for 70% of the world's freshwater. They also reported that around 75% of the land area of the planet excluding those areas covered by ice have been affected by human use primarily for agriculture and land use change such as deforestation causing biodiversity loss.

The lead author is Prof Peter Scarborough of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University.

He said:
Our dietary choices have a big impact on the planet. Cherry-picking data on high impact plant-based food or low impact meat can obscure the clear relationship between animal-based foods and the environment. Our results, which use data from over 38,000 farms in over 100 countries, show that high meat diets have the biggest impact for many important environmental indicators, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Cutting down the amount of meat and dairy in your diet can make a big difference to your dietary footprint.”
Past research would support this research and that plant-based diets have a much lower impact on greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use and also reducing meat intake tends to be healthier.

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