To be or not to be is a dilemma many aspiring vegans face. They are conflicted not only because of the love for meat but also because of the gray area surrounding the environmental benefits brought by a vegan lifestyle. Here we talk about the difference an individual who gives up meat consumption can make.
According to a 2019 report by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA) of the United Nations, rearing livestock to fulfill the increasing meat consumption requirements has a direct negative impact on the environment. The livestock production process is the most burdensome on natural resources as compared to any other food production process.
Green House Gas Emissions
As per the findings of FOA, the total global livestock emissions amount to 7.1 Gigatonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Beef and cattle milk are responsible for around 60% of the total emissions. Pork, buffalo milk, chicken and other poultry products and non-edible items like manure are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
According to research, one person giving up meat for just one meal per day can save CO2 emissions equivalent to those produced by driving 3000 miles.
Meat leaves just as large a water footprint as it makes a carbon footprint. It takes almost 1800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef and around 576 gallons of water to produce a pound of pork. The statistics aren’t surprising as water represents 60 to 70 percent of the overall weight of livestock,
While you can reduce the carbon footprint by taking up efficient rearing practices, you cannot reduce their water intake. Livestock’s productivity is directly dependent on their water consumption. The higher the water intake, the higher the productivity in terms of quantity of meat, milk, and eggs produced.
You can save up to 200,000 gallons of water annually by opting for one plant-based meal a day. With the glaciers melting and water scarcity becoming a global issue, only giving up meat to reduce its demand can save a substantial amount of water.
Save the Environment and Your Health
To many people, environmental depletion is still not a cause for concern. However, a plant-based life has numerous health benefits for you as well, as it has few harmful calories and fat content. According to nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner, Americans currently consume almost double the recommended daily amount of protein. Not only is that excessive, but it is also unhealthy as it can lead to obesity and increase the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
Going vegan can help you live a longer, healthier life and drastically reduce fat content in the body. Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet is incredibly nutritious and provides all essential nutrients that the body needs.
One person giving up meat consumption for even just one meal of the day can make a great impact by significantly reducing the carbon and water footprint. A single person going completely vegan can save up to 600,000 gallons of water annually as well as reduce carbon emissions by 40%.