June 03, 2018 - GruntVeganfeature
Scientists from the University of Oxford and LCA Research Group in Zurich, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It set out to assess the full impact of these foods, from farm to plate, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water and air pollution.
The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Furthermore, they found that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Another recent study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that 60% of Mammals and 70% of Birds on the Planet are Raised to be Eaten.
Speaking to The Guardian, Joseph Poore at the University of Oxford, who led the research, 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.
"It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car. Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems.
"Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy."