Is veganism the only way to help stop climate change?

veganism help stop climate change

Would you cut out milk, cheese, meat, leather, honey? What if it meant saving the world?

More and more research is surfacing around climate change and it turns out veganism saves more than baby cows and chicks.

Experts have predicted our global population will hit 10 billion by 2060.


Researchers have published a paper, Science, where they analysed how our food production and consumption affects the environment — spoiler alert: it’s a lot.

The researchers completed the study with the idea of being able to educate consumers as well as food producers on how they can minimise their impact on the environment.

The results varied a heap across the 38,000 farms they took the data from, even when comparing the same crop or livestock.

They found that the worst 10 per cent of the beef production industry produces 12 times as much greenhouse gas and needs 50 times more land to produce a measly 100 grams of protein, when compared the best 10 per cent of the industry.

The same happened with major crops: wheat, maize, and rice. The top percentile of growing practices achieved the same results with a third of the impact.

Where this study gets really interesting is when the researchers applied the data to a hypothetically vegan world…

veganism help stop climate change

The big, bold trend in their research was that no matter how well managed the livestock set up, it’ll never produce the equivalent in protein as the worst of the worst in vegetable crops without causing a worse environmental impact.

Meat-derived protein was replaced with the equivalent from a plant, then the impact was analysed again.

They found that the results were amazing for the environment with the study’s co-author Joseph Poore from Oxford University saying, “We reduced land use by 3.1 billion hectares — 76 per cent.”

Australians, like most inhabitants of first world countries, are pretty bad for unnecessary waste, pollution, and carbon emissions — an individual in Australia is responsible for approximately 400kg of household rubbish each year.

Of our personal 400kg, around 180kg of that is called ‘green waste’, this is recyclable food, branches and twigs, flowers, and it actually becomes harmful when taken to landfill.

So many Australians are guilty of sending organic waste to landfill, but few of us know that each kilogram that’s sent there contributes 0.17kg of methane, one of the key contributors to the Greenhouse Effect and climate change.

Each Australian resident is responsible for 15.3kg of methane each year, but making the switch to veganism can benefit the planet in a huge way.

If a vegan lifestyle seems too big a commitment for you, why not make a small effort?

There’s the option of choosing to go meat free one or even two days a week, the notion was popularised by Meatless Mondays who had the idea that if everybody didn’t consume meat for just one day a week, we could reduce our meat consumption by 15% for our health and for the planet’s.

Author bio: Bob Gorman is a freelance blogger. You can follow him on Twitter @bob_gorman82.

Related: 11 Reasons Why Going Vegan Helps Save The Planet

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