The Environmental Impact of Animal Foods

The facts are mounting and the results are undeniable: human consumption of animal products alters the earth in catastrophic ways. Yet every individual can still make a difference. The most impactful way to join the resistance against climate change is to simply eat fewer animal products.

How do animal products negatively effect the climate and ecosystems? These are the main drivers:


Plants reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Carbon Dioxide

The steady rise of greenhouse gasses is one of the leading drivers of global warning. The simplest and most impactful way for individuals to lessen their carbon footprint is to reduce the consumption of animal products.

Carbon Savings Per Year

Merely switching from beef to chicken will already begin to drastically reduce your carbon footprint. “The biggest intervention people could make towards reducing their carbon footprints would not be to abandon cars, but to eat significantly less red meat,” says Professor Tim Benton from the University of Leeds. Source

Water

Fresh water is humanity's most precious resource, and no foods require more water than meat and dairy products.

Liters of Water to Produce 1 KG of Food

Forests

Trees are one of our biggest allies in regulating the planet's temperature. They trap carbon dioxide and emit clean oxygen, mitigating the effects of global warming.

How Trees Make Oxygen and Remove Carbon

Yet humanity continues to destroy the world's rainforests at frightening rates. Moreover, animal agriculture is responsible for more than 90% of the Amazon's destruction and is the leading driver of species extinction.

Causes of Amazon Rainforest Destruction

Acres of rainforest destroyed since you opened this page: 0

Land Use

As the human population grows to 9 billion by 2050, we will have to feed more people with less land. The easiest way to do so is to reduce the amount of land needed per person.

Acres to Feed 1 Person for 1 Year

Feeding a regular omnivore requires 18 times as much land as feeding a vegan. As the world's arable land shrinks due to droughts and natural disasters, we can keep the food supply stable by requiring less land to produce our food.

Waste

Every minute, 7 million pounds of waste are produced by animals raised for consumption in the U.S. alone. Waste then mixes with nitrogen-based fertilizers to destroy ecosystems both on land and at sea.

In the Gulf of Mexico there is a 7,000 square mile “dead zone” where there is no aquatic life primarily due to pollution from animal waste and chemical fertilizers.

Deadzone in the gulf of mexico
Kilograms of waste produced by livestock since you opened this page: 0

Waste is doubly harmful. It negatively impacts ecosystems on land by destroying the soil composition and seeping into the water supply. Then when it runs off into the ocean, it creates oxygen-depleted deadzones where no fish can survive.

More than 34,000 miles of rivers and 216,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. have been degraded by waste from confined feeding operations.

Conclusion

Do you hate species extinction? Water Pollution? Habitat Destruction? Global Warming? Soil degradation? Then look no further, because the most impactful way to fight all of these atrocities on the environment is to simply stop purchasing animal products.

You don't need to buy a Tesla or install solar panels above your house to begin reducing your environmental impact. Preserve our planet's ecosystems and climate for future generations by making more sustainable food choices. To get started now, check out our recipes on Vegaroo.