As ocean acidity increases, creatures with calcium carbonate in their shells, such as molluscs, crabs and coral reefs, find it harder to grow and reproduce. By switching to a vegan diet, we can reduce the amount of agricultural carbon being pumped into the atmosphere and help ocean ecosystems re-stabilise. Animal feed grown for livestock needs to be produced incredibly quickly, which means high doses of chemicals, fertilisers and antibiotics are often released into the surrounding areas. Thankfully, evidence shows that dead zones are reversible if animal agriculture operations clean themselves up, or better yet, disappear entirely. Every second, an area of rainforest equivalent to a football field is cleared to rear and graze animals for the meat and dairy industries. Accor ding to the US Environmental Defense Fund, if every American swapped one meal of chicken for a vegetarian alternative each week, the reduction in carbon dioxide would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off the road. Aside from health concerns, air pollution can lead to acid rain, algal blooms in rivers and lakes, wildlife sickness, ozone depletion and forest damage. Animal farming releases millions of harmful particles into the air every year, and by adopting a plant-based diet, you can help the planet and its inhabitants breathe cleaner air. Animal farming emits more greenhouse gases than all the cars, planes and ships in the world combined, but while carbon usually takes centre stage in the climate debate, there are other greenhouse gases responsible for rising global temperatures. By reducing the demand for animal products, veganism can help restore climate balance in the long term.
By Dana Hudepohl, Apr 22, From land use, to water supply, to greenhouse gas emissions, what you put on your plate has repercussions for the planet. Eating plants—instead of eating animals who eat plants—cuts out the enormous environmental burden that goes along with animal agriculture. In the United States, million acres, or 18 percent of all U. Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss, according to research from Florida International University published in in the journal Science of the Total Environment. In fact, the majority of cropland in the United States is not used to produce food that people will eat but to produce crops that animals will eat. Between and , 80 percent of the plant proteins produced in the United States were allocated to animal feed, either domestically or abroad. There are a variety of reasons why plant-based foods are generally more water-efficient than animal foods. Nearly half of the water consumption in the United States goes toward raising livestock. Drinking water for the animals is only a small portion of the water used: It takes copious amounts of water to produce crops that will go into their feed.
A plant-based diet can have a significant positive impact on the environment and your health. Here are steps you can take today to reduce your carbon footprint and keep your body healthy and strong. Choose oat, soy, almond, or other plant-based alternatives to help cut back on land and water usage. Dairy has been linked to early death and increased risk of ovarian, lung, breast, and other cancers. Men who consume three servings of dairy a day have a percent higher risk of death due to prostate cancer. Eliminating red and processed meat from the diet can lead to a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, and colorectal cancer, according to a study in the British Medical Journal Open. The same study showed that participants who consumed the least amount of red and processed meat also used 0. It takes gallons of water to make a single burger. By comparison, the average person uses 17 gallons of water when they shower.