Go Vegan For The Environment
Vegan Environment Facts
Are you considering going vegan for the environment? Well, there are various reasons why more and more people choose to go vegan every day. An increasingly popular one is to go vegan for the environment. As more research discovers what the exact impact of animal agriculture is on the environment, and more vegan environment facts come to light, we are finding out that going vegan is one of the best things we can do for our planet.
In this article, we will share some of the most important vegan environment facts, which explain why it’s so beneficial to go vegan for the environment.
The production cycle of our food
In animal agriculture, food grown on farms isn’t consumed directly – instead, it’s fed to livestock. This requires a lot of livestock feed and the animal product which ends up being made feeds much fewer people than the plants would in the first place. Over 700 million tons of food, which could be consumed by humans, is fed to livestock every year. If we all stopped eating animals, we could even solve the world’s food crisis!
This means many more resources are needed to produce animal products, in comparison to plant-based alternatives. Ultimately, the production cycle of animal agriculture is unsustainable by design. Even organic farms cannot avoid this characteristic, making going vegan for the environment the most sustainable solution.
Adding to our carbon footprint
Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues we’re facing today – and the vegan environment facts regarding our carbon footprint are truly shocking. Research has found that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gasses than all of the world’s transportation combined. There are many reasons why this is the case.
Firstly, livestock, particularly cows and sheep, produce methane while they digest – a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent in the short run than CO2. However, the good news about methane is that if we reduce our consumption, we’re likely to see the results in our environment much sooner than when reducing our CO2 consumption!
Secondly, slaughterhouses and farms take a lot of energy to power, energy which often comes from fossil fuels. By choosing plant-based options, or deciding to go vegan for the environment, you are not just reducing your energy consumption – but also the carbon emissions associated with it.
Lastly, to grow livestock feed, forests are often cut down, particularly in the Amazon. As the number of trees which could compensate for our release of greenhouse gasses decreases, so do the effects of climate change. However, climate change is not the only issue deforestation causes – it also leads to widespread species extinction and soil degradation in the area.
Effects on our oceans
When speaking of vegan environment facts, we often focus on farming of livestock, rather than fishing. However, industrial fishing is one of the most environmentally damaging activities related to the sourcing of animal products – and an incredibly good reason to go vegan for the environment.
Firstly, the demand for fish and seafood is severely endangering marine species targeted by the fishermen. The fish simply cannot multiply fast enough to keep the population size stable, because so many are being caught. Some data even suggest the oceans could be fishless by 2048 if we don’t take action. Although some steps are being taken to address this issue, we need much more widespread bans on fishing in these endangered areas – until that happens, the best thing to do for the environment and our ocean is to go vegan.
As if it wasn’t enough that these targeted species are being endangered, so are other sea animals. This is happening because the fishing nets used by industrial fishing are exceptionally large and catch anything that comes in their way – this includes not just the target fish but also other animals, including dolphins, sharks, turtles and many endangered species. This phenomenon is referred to as bycatch and costs billions of animals their lives annually. Why do the animals die? They often get severely injured in the process and are thrown overboard, dead or dying
Wasting and polluting our water
It takes a lot of water to produce animal products – we need 100 to 200 more water to produce a pound of beef compared to a plant-based alternative. Besides water for the livestock to drink, a lot of water is also used to clean and maintain the facilities they are kept in.
Animal agriculture is also a big polluter of water, as faecal matter often leaks into rivers and contaminating them. Animal waste runoff is much more common than you may think and one of its most environmentally destructive consequences is the collapse of freshwater supply to the affected areas, leading to people being left without access to safe drinking water.
All the food that’s wasted
Food waste is another environmental issue we are facing in the 21st century. According to the USDA, 30% to 40% of our food supply goes to waste! While all food waste is highly problematic, it seems to be even more so with animal products.
Firstly, as we mentioned above, it takes more resources to produce animal products than it costs to produce plant-based foods. This means that if the food gets thrown away, more resources will have been wasted.
Secondly, animal products such as meat or dairy have a particularly short shelf life, especially when compared to vegan alternatives. This gives us less time to consume them and makes them more likely to be thrown away. While this does not apply to all animal products, it’s an important factor to keep in mind.
Summing up vegan for the environment
Decided to go vegan for the environment? That’s a wonderful thing! We wish you a lot of joy, sustainability, and animal compassion on your journey.
Remember these vegan environment facts – write them down or save this article. They will help keep you going if, at any point, you encounter challenges on your journey towards veganism.
If you need help to take your next step into veganism, why not check out our Personalised Grocery List service.
Consider joining our community, our “Healing through food” movement is growing everyday!