How Does Being Vegan Help the Environment?
Recently, we posted an article which covered the main reason people go vegan. The reason was simple, most vegans are concerned for the animals that are raised and slaughtered for food. And why that’s the certainly the reason that most people choose to go vegan, it’s certainly not the only benefit of becoming a vegan. In this article, we’re going to take a look at another common question we receive, “how does being vegan help the environment?”
How Does Being Vegan Help the Environment?
The impact that vegans have on the world might be second to none. Because people have chosen to go vegan, approximately 17.5 million animals are saved from being slaughtered every year. And they enable us to feed hungry people throughout the world with the grain that’s typically used to raise the animals that people later consume.
The impact that vegans have on the world is enormous. Here are the three main ways that being vegan helps the environment and can help save the planet.
1. Being Vegan Helps Conserve Water
As you probably know, hundreds of millions of people throughout the world are unable to access clean water. So, when we think about the question “how does being vegan help the environment?” then we must first consider the problem that a large portion of the global population faces. Even though this is a relatively minor problem in the U.S., it is an enormous issue on a global scale. The lack of availability of clean water leads to serious health issues and death throughout the underdeveloped world.
Simple put, we’re able to raise cattle with clean water sources but not with the people that we share our planet with. But, how does being vegan conserve water?
It’s simple. Being vegan replaces meat sources with plant sources. The fewer animals that are being raised to be slaughtered, the more water there will be left for people – and for growing plants which are able to feed more people.
It takes much more water to raise cattle than it does to raise plants. How much more? It’s estimated to take 100 to 200 times more water to raise cattle than to raise plants. If you add it up… That’s a lot of wasted water.
2. Do You Prefer Your Water Polluted or Clean?
If you’re anything like us, you definitely prefer clean water to polluted water. The problem with that is that animals are known to pollute water. Especially in areas where a large amount of cattle are raised on a relatively small amount of land (i.e. almost anywhere where cattle is farmed).
Animals create an estimated 500 million tons of waste each year. And this waste has to go somewhere. Often times, it runs into our water sources and contaminates our lakes and rivers.
3. Plants Help Our Soil… Animals Don’t
Over the years, humans have chopped down forests and wooded areas to create room for livestock to roam. But, it’s not just a problem that we made in the past. It’s a mistake that we’re still making today. Approximately 46,800 square miles of plants and trees are wiped out each year.
If you’re someone who thinks about the world we’re leaving behind for our children, grandchildren and beyond… Then you probably know that this isn’t good.
One potential side effect of wiping out our forests is that we’re accelerating climate change. Trees are able to store carbon and simple math suggest that the fewer trees we have, the less carbon we’re able to store and as a result – the more the climate will continue to change.
Not only maintaining a high diversity of plants, but continuing to grow plant-based farms is vital for the environment and the long-term health of our planet. Whereas animals pollute our waters and harm our environment, plants nourish the soil and offer a long-term solution to sustainable food sources and climate control.
4. Vegans Reduce Energy Consumption
Not only does raising livestock take a lot of water, it also takes a lot of energy. Raising animals is a time-consuming process as the animals take months or years to grow. Energy is required throughout the entire process. However, it’s also requires to process the meats and transport the meats to consumers throughout the world.
Now, you might be thinking that plants also require energy. And, you’re correct. However, plants require approximately 8 times less energy than meats – a significantly less amount.
5. How Do You Like Your Air? Polluted?
If you enjoy polluted air, you’ll love animals. It’s estimated that livestock causes more air pollution than most major transportation methods in the world – combined. Think about that for the second. Animals pollute the air more than all of the world’s cars, buses, planes and boats – combined.
In a word, crazy.
A Few Final Thoughts
Hopefully, I’ve done a decent job of outlining how being vegan helps the environment and answering the question, “how does being vegan help the environment?”. Because it’s extremely clear that when comparing the benefits of raising plants for a food source and raising animal for a food source – that there isn’t much of a comparison.
Plant-based dieting wins, hands down. And I think that if more people knew the benefits of plant-based dieting and the negative affects of meat-based dieting, then more people would be inclined to help us create a better environment for ourselves and the future of mankind.
Unfortunately, if we continue to destroy 46,800 square miles of land each year, the future of mankind might be bleak. Our children and grandchildren might be overcome with a problem that we could fix for them now – if more people spread the word and sacrificed their own meat-eating tendencies for a healthier, more sustainable alternative.