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food and forest

4 benefits of being a vegan

Even a slight shift to a vegan diet can result in the significant improvement of the environment. What steps will you be taking?

Veganism is a new trend that has hit the ‘woke’ society. It is the practice of giving up eating all meat and animal by-products, living solely on a plant-based diet. Although most followers of the vegan diet are animal lovers, there are other significant benefits to being vegan.

Joseph Poore 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.”

Conserve Water

Only 2.5% of the water available globally is freshwater safe for consumption. Out of this, as humans, we have access to less than 30% of it. Large quantities of water are required for washing, feeding, and providing clean living areas for cattle meant for consumption. It takes approximately 4500 liters of water to raise one chicken; in contrast, around 1000 liters of water is used to grow one kilo of wheat. Additionally, unsafe disposal of animal waste by farms results in seepage that pollutes soil, water, and air.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission

Methane is a greenhouse gas that cows tend to produce as part of their biological functions. The mass consumption of beef and dairy has led to unsustainable and unwarranted breeding of cows, thus contributing to the rise in methane emissions. Apart from this, many natural resources are utilized in raising, slaughtering, and transporting animals and their by-products. Consumption of animal meat and by-products account for approximately 51% of the global greenhouse gas emission. Even cooking animal meat uses more fuel than vegetables and grains.

Combat Deforestation

About 70% of the farmland is used for animal grazing purposes, and a large part of food and grains harvested is used to feed the livestock. A significant amount of this land is subject to overgrazing, which harms the soil quality. Soil erosion, desertification, and deforestation have already rendered 20% of grazing farmland as ‘degraded’. Deforestation has contributed to the destruction and endangerment of several species and their habitats.

Reduce Chemical Consumption

Meat and animal by-product are consumed at a massive scale globally. To meet the increasing needs of consumers, most livestock farmers resort to using chemicals and enhancement drugs that aid fast growth and more meat. Human consumption of these chemicals over an extended period of time could be harmful, and possibly fatal. By opting for a vegan lifestyle, the vegetables and grains produced will primarily be used for human consumption and reduce the use of chemicals.

Although many companies are slowly becoming aware of the looming global warming problem, the technology used to curb, control, and reverse the process may take years, if not decades. Even a slight shift to a vegan diet can result in the significant improvement of the environment. What steps will you be taking?