Ditching meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date on the impact of agriculture on the planet.
Animal agriculture is (by far) the largest anthropogenic user of land on the planet –with at least 30% of the ice-free surface of the planet dedicated to livestock (per the UN FAO).
And this recent study, published earlier this month (June 2018) in journal Science, found that, by eliminating meat and dairy, we could feed the world while reducing global farmland by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined.
This is an urgent existential issue, because we are already in the midst of what scientists have concluded is the Sixth Mass Extinction in Earth’s biological history. And, the leading driver of this precipitous loss of species is the destruction of natural habitats due to human activities like animal agriculture.
This problem is more than sufficient, by itself, to justify the need for a mass global shift away from animal foods as fast as we possibly can. But there happens to be numerous other converging environmental problems in which our dietary choices play a huge role.
As lead researcher behind the study, Joseph Poore of Oxford, said: “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use…. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”
In addition to these environmental crises that require an urgent shift away from animal foods, a balanced vegan diet also happens to be very healthy and withdraws support for the mass suffering and death currently imposed upon countless billions of vulnerable animals. We can’t think of one good reason, for any of us with autonomy and access to basic food options, to not be vegan.
So, if you haven’t already, please familiarize yourself with these important issues, do whatever you can to help raise awareness among others, and go vegan.
*Full Citation to Referenced Study: J. Poore and T. Nemecek. Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts Through Producers and Consumers. Journal Science. 2018 Jun.; 360 (6392) 987-992.