I bet you didn’t know that.. “Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.” (Goodland, R Anhang, J.).
This brings us nicely to another reason why you should go vegan this January. The environment.
We all like to think we are doing our bit for the environment by recycling, not keeping the tap running whilst we brush our teeth, cycling to work, etc. But is that really enough?
Eating vegan food is actually may more energy-efficient and produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than raising animals for food.
The emissions are generated through clearing land to graze animals and to grow the crops to feed them. A lot of energy is also used in keeping the animals alive, slaughtering them, and the transportation involved in each of these processes.
Farmed animals also release methane (yes that is essentially just farts), but it is a gas that has a warming effect 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Due to the amount of methane that these animals produce, animal agriculture is considered the leading producer of methane gas worldwide.
On top of the CO2 and methane, animal agriculture is also responsible for nitrous oxide emissions. Which is a gas that is 268 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of its potential to intensify global warming.
According to agricultural scientists, it is estimated that eating meat requires four and a half times more land than is necessary for a vegan diet. This is because the earth’s rain forests and various other natural areas are being destroyed to provide space for animals to be raised for the meat, dairy and egg industry.
Currently in the world today; 30% of the earth’s entire surface is used to graze and rear animals and 33% of global arable land is used to grow crops to feed said animals.
Due to the use and storage of billions of farmed animals across the world, there are large concentrations of muck. Which is becoming a problem, as this muck causes leakages from cesspools and manure spray fields are contaminating our waterways.
As a result of this, there have been 169 marine areas identified as ‘dead zones’ as of 2008. This has increased from 44 areas in 1995. ‘Dead zones’ are places where few species can survive.
‘10,000 years ago, free living animals made up 99% of the biomass and human beings made up only 1%. Today, humans and the animals that we own make up 98% of the biomass. We’ve basically stolen the world, the earth, from free-living animals to use for ourselves’.
If more people were to adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle, the amount of land used for animal agriculture could instead be used to provide food for the planet’s growing population and to help feed the 870 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in the world today.
You can sign up to take part in Veganuary here, for free.
Peace & Love, Sian