Plants for the Planet: How Vegan Diets Help the Environment
For so long, the idea of living consciously has seemed inaccessible, expensive and entirely dependent on compromises - but considering your environmental impact can and should be fun! Trust us, nothing is boring about cultivating a lifestyle that feels good for you, animals and this amazing planet we call home.
One of the most meaningful changes you can make for good is to harness the power of plants (thank you, nature) and incorporate elements of veganism, specifically the vegan diet, into your daily routine. You might be surprised at what a few simple food swaps could do.
Ready to learn more? Let’s look at three major environmental benefits of vegan diets.
They release fewer greenhouse gasses
It’s no secret that cutting greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to halting the effects of climate change, and a shift towards vegan ways of living and eating could just be the answer.
After all, breeding, rearing and exporting animals for food releases significantly higher levels of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane than growing veggies and grains. Cattle ranching and the production of soya to feed livestock are also heavily linked to growing deforestation rates, which has a sizeable carbon footprint of its own.
Did you know that we could eat our way to a healthier planet? If just 10% of the global population went plant-based, we could save up to 176 million tonnes of harmful CO2 from being released.
They use less land
Animal agriculture requires a lot of space, yet the industry isn’t filling plates across the world. The statistics speak for themselves: meat and dairy production may use more than 80% of farmland, but it accounts for just 18% of global calorie intake.
With plants, it’s a different story! Vegetable, fruit and grain yields are responsible for just a fraction of global land usage, despite offering protein and calories to a greater proportion of the population.
The process of growing plants is also much kinder to the natural world. Swapping meat, dairy and eggs for wholesome vegan foods is a great way to slow the declining rates of biodiversity and protect animal species from going extinct, something we can sadly see happening at an alarming rate.
They contribute less to water pollution
So, we’ve discussed the benefits of veganism in preventing land and air pollution - but what about water? Yep, plant-based diets not only use less water than meat diets, but they also reign supreme when it comes to protecting the health of our world’s ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans.
By reducing our global reliance on animal agriculture, we could minimize some of the many environmental issues caused by factory farming and industrial fishing. Two major problems include the contamination of waterways with toxic animal waste and the dumping of old fishing equipment, which now makes up the majority of plastic waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
If eating a plant-based diet helps to preserve our planets’ waterways, then we’re all in! Remember - even minor lifestyle tweaks can have incredible effects, and no change is too small to celebrate.
We’d love to know more about your sustainability journey! Connect with us at The Cultivated Vegan to learn more about ours.