[14.Jan.2021] Will Veganuary save the world?
You might have heard of Veganuary!? While some treat it as a post-Christmas spree dieting opportunity it is the world’s largest vegan movement, inspiring people to try eating vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.
A vegan diet does not contain any animal products, or products coming from animals like milk or eggs.
UN’s environment organization states that there is a need for a clear, global diet change away from animal products. Joseph Poore from Oxford University says that changing to a vegan diet is the single most meaningful way that one can lower its’ environmental impact
They might have a valid point. Let’s investigate…
Did you know that production of meat, dairy and eggs:
- Wastes half of the world’s crops on food for animals we eat?
- Uses almost half of the world’s drinking water?
- Is the world’s biggest source of water pollution?
- Is the biggest reason for deforestation?
- Plays the biggest role in the extinction of plant- and animal species?
- Emits at least 14,5 % man maid greenhouse gases and prevents us from planting more trees that could stop global warming?
We are 7 billion people, of which 2 billion live primarily on a meat-based diet. We produce 60 billion animals every year for consumption. Meanwhile, 3 billion people are malnourished. The picture doesn’t look very good.
Many of us have cut down on our beef intake, as we know that it has a high environmental impact and is not the healthiest food for our bodies. So let’s make a calculation on the environmental impact if we eat 75 g of beef 1-2 times a week.
A combo box calculation in Mathcad
Over an entire year your consumption of beef is contributing 604kg to your annual greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s the equivalent of driving a regular petrol car 2482 km, or the same as heating the average UK home for 95 days, or like taking almost 2 return flights from London to Malaga.
Your consumption of beef also uses 1,735m² land, equal to the space of 6 tennis courts.
So try switching your protein to other options, even those 1-2 times a week:
When you try going vegan, it might be hard in the beginning as eating vegan requires more of your attention and creativity. But people’s minds open up to new tastes, and new products that they’ve never tried before. Why limit yourself to a chicken and potato plate, when there are so many well tasting green options.
While you try the culinary revolution, there are other benefits as a bonus:
1. Vegan diets help you eat more whole foods.
2. You'll slash your saturated fat and additives intake.
3. Your risk of chronic diseases will go down.
5. You'll make the planet healthier.
So maybe Veganuary for at least a month is worth considering?!