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Is Going Vegan Actually Better For The Environment?

Conversations around converting to veganism have taken centre stage amid the Covid-19 pandemic as rumours spread early on this year that the virus originated in bats that were sold at Wuhan’s seafood wet market. While this theory has not actually been particularly conclusive, it has developed into a narrative that has most individuals strongly considering quitting animal meat altogether. 

Mintel, a London-based market research firm recently released data which showed that the plant-based diet is becoming more attractive to Brits as a result of the outbreak. According to its data, 12 percent of all Brits say the pandemic has made a vegan diet more appealing. A new study even suggests that plant proteins are a lot healthier than their meat counterparts — they aren’t just the better option for you but for the planet as well. As a matter of fact, going vegan has a lot more benefits for the environment than you’d think;

1. Meat Has a Rather Large Water Footprint

Approximately one quarter of the global freshwater is used for production and consumption of animal products. Global animal production requires about 2422 cubic gigameter of water annually (a gigameter is 1 billion meters). One third of this volume is for the beef cattle sector; another 19% for the dairy cattle sector. Most of the total volume of water (98%) refers to the water footprint of the feed for the animals.

2. Animal Agriculture Is Responsible for High Co2 Levels

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 18 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and these emissions are only projected to rise upto 80% by 2050 if we don’t go meat-free. For perspective, producing beef takes up 20 times the land and emits 20 times the emissions as producing beans, per gram of protein.  

3. Meat and Dairy Is Crowding the Earth

Research shows that more than 80 percent of farmland is used for livestock, however it produces just 18 percent of food calories and 37 percent of protein. The same study claims that that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% which is equivalent to the area of US, China, European Union and Australia combined and still feed the world. 

4. By Going Vegan You Can Help Prevent Habitat Loss

Perhaps one of the strongest yet most basic reason why one should quit consuming animal meat is habitat loss. Data from PETA claims that more than 29 million cows suffer and die in the meat and dairy industries every year, not to mention the inhumane conditions in which they are kept and treated. 

 

Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-06-24

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