Being vegan brings me a lot of joy because it’s such a powerful way to reduce my negative impact on the environment around me. The impact of animal agriculture on the environment is staggering. Nature has always been my first love, from a young age. If I’d had ready access to information about the environmental benefits of a vegan diet, I would have made the transition long before I did. I gave up dairy in my early 20’s due to health reasons, then I gradually removed all meat except fish because the idea of animals living in captivity distressed me. It was only when I realised the impact fishing was having on the environment as a whole that I gave up eating fish.
Since becoming vegan I have learned more about the realities of farming and every day I learn something new about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. My favourite documentary is COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret which I helped crowd fund and later screened for my local community in 2014. This movie is a real eye-opener. While some of this information had started filtering past my research radar, Cowspiracy pulled it all together and filled in the gaps. I still have ‘wow’ moments when I watch it.
Here are some facts and figures gathered from the links posted below, and a pretty cool info graphic. Keep in mind these figures are constantly being debated and updated by various groups:
*A vegan diet creates 7x less greenhouse emissions than a meat-eating diet.
*1 calorie of plant food requires 11x less fossils fuels to produce than 1 calorie of animal protein.
*While switching from a regular car to a hybrid would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 900kg per year, going vegan reduces emissions by 1350kg per year.
*In comparison to a meat-based diet, which requires 15,000 litres of water per day, a vegan diet only requires 1000 litres of water.
*The equivalent of 7 football fields of land are cleared every minute to create more room for farmed animals.
*By stopping eating fish – be it farmed or wild-caught – we can reverse the destruction of ocean environments.