Many vegans live the lifestyle because they care about the environment. But, many of us don’t understand how it affects the environment, let alone whether this effect is good or bad. After all, many vegans out there proclaim that they make a sacrifice to keep the earth alive, I went looking to see how accurate that statement is.
There are quite a few studies that show a reduced carbon footprint created by vegans, which helps in our argument of veganism being good for the environment. Depending on the study, it’s shown that cutting meat and dairy from your diet can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73 percent.
Grown to Eat
If everyone removed meat and dairy from their diets, global farmland could be reduced by 75 percent. The area of that amount of land is equal to China, Australia, The United States, and Europe combined.
If this reduction of farmland happened, a lot of greenhouse gas emissions would cease while a large area of undeveloped and lesser developed land would be freed up. The dairy and meat industries are responsible for around 60 percent of the agricultural sector.
Why is Animal food production ungreen?
To turn grass into meat is equivalent to changing fuel into energy, it has an enormous cost in emissions. In the end, even sustainable industries have an impact on the environment. These include grass-fed cattle and freshwater fish farming industries.
But, at current, this is the most common way of providing the products to the world.
Playing Devil’s Advocate
There can be a lot of money to be made with vegan products. Especially since some can be seen as “going out of the way” to bring you a vegan production of what never existed before. This becomes more and more prominent as veganism grows.
Countries that export a, often specific, type of fruit or vegetable such as avocados, have begun to suffer a lack of that item in their own country. The result is that in these countries the price for those edibles are now way higher than they used to be. I know not everyone considers it, but we as humans are a part of the environment. And this event affects a lot of human’s daily lives.
Avocados are a significant item in this story. A few countries have run into a shortage because of the exporting of avos. As such, there’s a major driving force for deforestation, often illegal, to enhance farmers abilities to grow more and get more money.
Superfoods such as quinoa are also subject to the high inflation that a vegan society’s demands have caused.
A Way to Make Veganism Greener
With all said about how the need for greens have made us need more greens to purchase them, there are ways to lessen the markets demand for some of the foods we import from other countries.
One way is to start a home garden. It can be a rewarding experience, knowing you’re eating food that you’ve put effort into growing. If you do the right research on what you want to grow, setting up a garden for it should be relatively easy. Some of the easiest gardens to start are herb gardens.
Ordering a vegetable box is another option. These contain a variety of fresh vegetables and possibly some fruits on a subscription. These are generally weekly subscriptions to ensure you get fresh supplies.
Veganism is doing wonders for the environment currently, however it is placing a larger driving force to illegal deforestation and causes local demand for certain foods to go unmet as their prices skyrocket. My suggestion, go vegan and go local, you’ll do wonders for the environment and global economy.