A new study from researchers at the University of Oxford finds that by avoiding animal products, we can reduce our dietary carbon footprint by up to 73 percent.
Published in Science, this new study is one of the most comprehensive to date. Researchers analyzed the harmful effects animal agriculture has on the planet and reviewed data from nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries.
In addition to greatly reducing our carbon footprint, researchers found that if everyone went vegan, global land use could be reduced by 75 percent. This would be comparable to the size of the United States, China, Australia, and the whole European Union combined. Lead author of the study Joseph Poore explains:
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.
Similarly, a report from Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return found that the meat industry is jeopardizing the Paris climate agreement by failing to properly report its emissions, despite being a major contributor to climate change.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, greenhouse gas emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.
There is no such thing as “sustainable meat,” and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.But plant-based eating isn’t just good for the planet—it also spares countless animals a lifetime of misery at factory farms. From birth to death, pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer horribly.
There is no question that animal agriculture is terrible for the planet. Join the millions of people helping protect farmed animals and the planet by eating more plant-based food!