Most people decide to begin eating Vegan for one of three reasons… their health… to save animals, or the envirnonment. But no matter your why, most people who decide to eat plant based for one reason end up also leaning into the other reasons as well. It happened to me. I became Vegan to help save animals. But quickly learned it was beneficial to my health, and now I am an advocate for the environment with what I eat and beyond. So now I am cutting way back on plastics, buying recycled and sustainable items and more, but I find that living a Vegan lifestyle actually makes the biggest impact on improving the planet. Here’s some what I’ve learned so far.
Farming animals contributes to global warming. The shift in weather around the world dominates the news more regularly these days. We’ve seen an increase in powerful storms and extremly hot temperatures. Also, melting ice in places like the Arctic and Greenland is contributing to the rise in the sea levels. That’s all due to greenhouse gas emmissons… mostly methane. Animal agriculture is the number two contributor to greenhouse gas emmissions in the world. The rearing of livestock for food and milk produces 14.5% of total gashouse emissions.
Farming animals keeps fresh water from people in need of it. It may surprise many people to know that more than a billion people around the world live wthout fresh water. Most countries don’t even have it. In fact only 2.5 % of the world’s water is fresh and an alarming amount is used to grow crops for animals to eat and give animals water to drink. In fact, a single dairy cow can drink up to 50 gallons water per day, or twice that during hotter weather. Animal agriculture also leads to fresh water pollution. One person going Vegan can save 219,000 gallons of water a year.
Oceans and Sealife
Our desire for seafood is destroying our precious oceans and all of it’s life. If you’ve seen the documentary Seaspiricy the you know that overfishing has led to habitat damage and species endangerment. According to PETA, commercial fishing methods like bottom trawling and long-lonong often clean oceanfloor of all life and destroys coral reefs. It also kills thousands of dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and other animals.
Farming animals is destroying actual land. You’ve probably heard pleas to “Save Our Rainforest” for years. And one of the biggest causes of deforestation, biodiversity loss and land degradation. Deforestation mostly happens when trees and other plant life is cleared out to make room for animal farming. According to National Geographic, this affects wildlife, ecosystems, weather patterns and the climate. And once these animals raised for consumption are moved onto the land degradation occurs due to overgrazing. After a while the land becomes barron and is unable to produce. So the animals have to be moved to a new piece of land, and it all starts over again.
It no secret, we humans have done a terrible job looking after this planet. And it is going to take drastic action to turn things for the better. Living a Vegan lifestyle can be a giant tep in the right direction toward not only saving the planet and the animals we share it with, but also for feeding and providing water for other humans.
Stay safe and sane 🌱