Environment and Sustainability

What does the research say?

Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent. If everyone stopped eating meat and dairy, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that roughly 80 percent of ammonia emissions in the U.S. come from animal waste. A California study found that a single dairy cow emits 19.3 pounds of volatile organic compounds per year, making dairies the most impactful source of the smog-making gases, surpassing trucks and passenger cars.

 

Livestock raised for food produce 130 times the excrement of the human population, some 87,000 pounds per second (PETA, 2017). The Union of Concerned Scientists notes that 20 tons of livestock manure is produced annually for every U.S. household. Jut one excrement spill, the New River hog waste spill in North Carolina, poured 25 million gallons of excrement and urine into the water, killing an estimated 10 to 14 million fish and closing 364,000 acres of coastal shellfishing beds. Hog waste spills have caused the rapid spread of a virulent microbe called Pfiesteria piscicida, which has killed a billion fish in North Carolina alone. 

More than a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels consumed in the U.S. are used in animal production. Producing a single hamburger patty uses enough fuel to drive 20 miles and causes the loss of five times its weight in topsoil. In his book The Food Revolution, John Robbins estimates that “you’d save more water by not eating a pound of California beef than you would by not showering for an entire year.” Because of deforestation to create grazing land, each vegetarian saves an acre of trees per year; vegans can save more. 

We are listing a very small sample of the voluminous research and articles in the area of animal agriculture and greenhouse emissions, and environmentalism.

Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change

 

The Guardian: Avoiding meat is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth

Biomass distribution on Earth

Carnivorous climate skeptics in the media

The Impacts of Dietary Change on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Land Use, Water Use, and Health: A Systematic Review

 

Change your diet, change the climate

 

Conservatism predicts lapses from vegetarian/vegan diets to meat consumption (through lower social justice concerns and social support)

The Guardian: Do critics of UN meat report have a beef with transparency?

Do you know the carbon footprint of your food choices?

 

The Conversation: Eating as a political, social, spiritual act

We Can’t Keep Meating Like This: Attitudes towards Vegetarian and Vegan Diets in the United Kingdom

 

Wired: Let's rebuild the broken meat industry- without meat

Meat and animal ag are worse for the climate than power generation

 

Amazon fires commentary: Refutation to Shellenberg

 

New York Times: The end of meat is here

 

Reducing food's environmental impacts

Should we all go vegan to reduce climate change?

This is the best diet to save the planet

The opportunity cost of animal based diets exceeds all food losses

The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change

Intelligencer: UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That

Veggie-based diets could save 8 million lives by 2050 and cut global warming

Want to have a real impact on climate change? Then become a vegan

Why Do Some Green Activists Eat Meat?

World leaders 'have moral obligation to go vegan'

Would you go vegan to save the planet? Researchers say it might be our best option