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Since the 1960s the world’s population has doubled, resulting in a fourfold increase in the worlds meat production. Some areas have seen a massive increase in livestock production; with 4 and a half times more pigs being produced in 2013 when compared to 1961 and global chicken production growing by an alarming 13 times.
What is even scarier is that these numbers are constantly increasing. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that global meat production will have doubled by 2050.
This worrying trend continues to contribute to devastating effects on the environment including deforestation, pollution, droughts and global warming. Put simply, with more animals needed to feed meat eaters, comes the need for more crops to feed the animals. In the long run, this is not sustainable with an estimated 2-4 billion extra humans to feed by the year 2050.
Whilst we are encouraged to reduce our own personal car use, take care with the amount of water we use and lessen our carbon footprint, it is paramount that we also look at our own diets and how they affect the planet.
Let’s take a look at how veganism helps the environment and why you should give it some serious thought.
A massive 70 percent of the total grains grown in the United States goes towards feeding livestock. Large areas of farmland are needed to both raise animals and to grow the food required for these animals to grow. Approximately 700 million tons of food is given to livestock each year, food that could be consumed by humans. If that land was used to grow various crops for human consumption it would result in more aggregate calories.
On top of this, pollution, deforestation and overfishing caused by the meat and fish industries place a strain on our planet’s capacity to produce food.
Sadly, there are millions of people around the world who do not have easy access to clean water. In addition to this many more suffer from periodic water scarcity usually caused by drought or water source mismanagement. Livestock drinks a huge amount of water and are also guilty of being one of the main polluters of fresh water.
We can improve water availability and thus remedy these circumstances by replacing livestock with plants.
Let’s take beef for example. It takes a whopping 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef when compared to producing a pound of plant food.
Vast areas of land are subjected to deforestation when raising livestock is involved, which weakens and erodes the soil. In contrast, growing an array of different plants helps to nourish the soil and helps to preserve it. Unfortunately, deforestation does not appear to be slowing down, with an area the size of Panama being lost every year to the destructive practice.
More air pollution is emitted by the livestock of the world, than all methods of human transportation combined.
Plants do the opposite, they help to clean the air.
Why should animals have to suffer from the day they are born? This is the grim reality that many factory farm-bred animals face.
After much public outrage, some meat producers claim to be changing the way they breed animals, however, the majority of the meat that you come across in supermarkets and restaurants has been produced in poor conditions.
By making the switch to a vegan diet, you’ll be helping to fight against the mistreatment of commercially raised animals.
So now you know how veganism helps the environment, will you make the switch?