Before I begin… No, I’m not a vegan. In fact, I’m no way near being a vegan!
But I have always had an interest in the environment and how much impact we are having on it and running a data and analytics recruitment business I also have a (very) keen interest in all things data.
With all the recent news about our use of plastic and the pollution of the oceans it got me thinking about our water usage and climate change.
And it led me to the question of “do the real issues of diminishing water and climate change mean that we will all one day need to be either mostly or totally vegan?”
It’s an obvious, but often ignored fact, that water on earth is a finite resource. There has always been the same amount of water on earth, and always will be as long as it is used and managed in an adequate, effective, sustainable and fair way.
However, water demand is growing by 1% each year, with the amount of meat we are consuming growing 4-5-fold since 1961.
More than 80% of farmland is being used for livestock but is only producing 18% of our food calories and 37% of protein. The farming of beef is resulting in up to 150kg of greenhouse gases per 100g of meat, while tofu, a completely vegan product, will only produce 3.5kg of greenhouse gases per 100g!
These greenhouse gases emitted are having a major impact on the environment and according to a recent report the meat and dairy industry is fast becoming one of the biggest contributors to climate change in the world, causing more damage than the fossil fuel industry.
The author of this report has even said that a vegan diet is “the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth”, helping to cut your carbon footprint by up to 73%!
Going completely vegan won’t solve all the climate problems but it could have a significant impact. While it could be debated that more water will be needed to produce the crops for vegan food – it can take roughly ten times as much water to produce a protein rich pulse crop than it does to produce the equivalent amount of protein from beef - it will cut down the greenhouse gases considerably.
But it still leads me to question if there will be a tipping point when we will all have to drastically reduce or even eliminate our consumption of meat and animal products? My guess is yes, but if so, when?
Do you believe we need to become vegan in order to reduce our carbon footprint and ultimately climate change? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
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This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To read the original blog please click here.