Veganism and the environment

Haley Duval, Senior Photo Editor

Go vegan to save the planet.

It turns out what goes on a person’s plate matters a lot to the environment.  

Here are two reasons how veganism and other plant-based diets can help the environment.

Veganism helps prevents climate change. 

According to Ben Houlton, Director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, about 25 percent of all global climate change problems can be attributed back to the food and the choices that people make about what they eat daily.

“This is greater than all of the cars on the planet. It’s about twice as much global warming pollution as the cars,” Houlton states.

Researchers show that personal decisions truly do have a big impact.

For instance, if you look at everything that went into a single serving of beef, it emits about 330 grams of carbon. That’s like driving a car for three miles.

If twitch the beef to veggies, the 330 grams of carbon drops to 14 grams. 

Livestock is the cause for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The greenhouse effect is the reason why the Earth is so comfortable to live on, without it the earth’s atmosphere would be much warmer. The Earth needs to protect the atmosphere from carbon dioxide.

But 14 percent don’t seem much? Compare its transportation. It’s equally the same.

All the use of cars, trains, planes, subways in the world combines into one.

A part of the reason is that cows, sheep, and other ruminant animals are just very gassy and it takes about one million tons of grain to feed all of the livestock animals. If people were directly eating that grain for themselves, 3.5 million people could have been fed and it would eliminate carbon dioxide from cattle production.

Also, the more vegans there are, the fewer livestock animals would be produced to be slaughtered.

Not everyone needs to completely go vegan or vegetarian right off the bat, but the fewer meat people intake the better for the climate.

Veganism saves wildlife.

Most vegans choose their diet because it’s simply ethical.  Animals are intelligent living creatures, despite what anyone believes, they don’t deserve to be born into a world to be suffering from birth to death.

It’s clear that veganism saves countless animals from the slaughterhouse but what about non-farm animals?

Millions of wild animals have been killed because of the use of animal agriculture.

According to the World Animal Foundation, animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, habitat destruction, and ocean dead zones.

Animal agriculture covers about 45% of earth’s landmass and it continues to increase every year. Because of this, one to two of rainforests are cleared every second and are the cause of 91% of the Amazon Rainforest distortion. 

If there are no rainforests means no habitation for wildlife creatures and if there’s no habitat means a higher chance at extinction for these animals in the future. 137 creatures are lost every day because of these clearings.

By going vegan, about 11,000 square ft of forest land are saved every year and saves hundreds of animals each year.

Top Trends in Prepared Food reports, 6% of the U.S. population are vegans, a significant increase compared to the one percent in a 2014 study. If not already and have the resources to start, be that part of 6 percent.