Veganism is usually associated only with animal rights. While this is, indeed, a crucial part of the concept, there's another essential aim in it, namely environmental protection.
Here are 5 interesting facts on this topic.
1. Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emission than all transports combined
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than combined exhaust from all transportation. The latter is responsible for 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
2. 9460 litres of water are needed to produce 450 grams of beef
Livestock production uses 70% of global freshwater. Only 22% of fresh water is used by industry and 8% for domestic purposes.
3. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of Ocean dead zone as well as water pollution
The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poisons waterways. Additionally, for every kilgoram of fish caught up to 4,5 kg of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.
4. Livestock covers 45% of the Earth's total land
3/4 of the world’s agricultural land is used to raise animals, which includes grazing and growing crops to feed them.
5. Globally cows produce an average of 500 billion litres of methane per dayMethane is 25–100 times more destructive than CO2 in a 20 year time frame.
Veganism & Environment
Plant foods require much less than animal foods: potatoes, vegetables and cereals require around 290, 322 and 1644 litres of water per kilogram respectively. Cheese, pork and beef require 5060, 5990 and 15400 litres respectively. Studies have shown that going vegan could halve the greenhouse gas emission from food consumption. That's a 50% reduction just by cutting out animal foods.
- A Vegan Diet Is Best For The Planet: The Data Shows Why
- Cowspiracy: The Facts
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- "What is a dead zone?" National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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- Thornton, Phillip, et al. "Livestock and climate change". Livestock xchange. International Livestock Research Institute. November 2011
- Vaidyanathan, Sayathri. "How Bad of a Greenhouse Gas is Methane? The global warming potential of the gaseous fossil fuel may be consistently underestimated". Scientific American. December 22, 2015.
- Ross, Phillip. "Cow Farts Have 'Larger Greenhouse Gas Impact' Than Previously Thought; Methane Pushes Climate Change". International Business Times. 26 November, 2013
- Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers