Are you conscious of the environment and aim to live a more eco friendly life?
Well, being vegan is definitely the way!
When looking at veganism, it’s easy to just focus solely on the animal rights aspects that come with eliminating meat, dairy, eggs from your diet. Don’t get me wrong, these are great reasons to go vegan! However, there is also a whole range of reasons why being vegan is a more ethical way of living.
One of these is the benefits going vegan can have on the environment. With rising sea levels, rising temperatures and shifting ocean currents, the environmental impact iscertainly an important aspect to consider. Being vegan can reduce the affects of climate change, destruction of the rainforest and the amount of plastic used to ship the food.
Animal farming, is it really that bad?
One of the main culprits behind the affects on the environment lies in the production of meat and other animal products, which places a heavy burden on the environment.The livestock sector is currently responsible for over 18% of green house emissions.
Currently, over 30% of the land’s mass is used to raise animals for food. This can have devastating affects on the environment. In the United States over 70% of crops grown are used to feed these animals. As well as this, over 80% of deforestation overseas is now used for cattle pastures. By going vegan, you are no longer giving money to the livestock industry, and therefore not promoting the use of land and forests to raise animals for human consumption.
Although the deforestation, crop usage and the space used to raise these animals are all of concern to the environment, there is also the issue of the emissions that the cows produce.
Did you say…Cow farts?
Much like humans, cows need to release the gas that builds inside their guts after they eat.
There are approximately 1.4 billion cows grazing, eating and expelling gas at any given time on this earth. When cows burp or fart, they release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere, this can be extremely hazardous to the environment. Methane is known as one of the most destructive of the greenhouse gasses. Methane gas emitted by cows and other livestock are one of the main culprits behind global warming and climate change.
By eliminating meat from your diet, you are reducing the amount of these gasses being expelled into the environment by reducing the demand. Although eliminating meat is a huge step towards an eco friendly life, being vegan has far more benefit than simply forgoing meat.
So, lets talk dairy cows! According the US environmental protection agency, a single dairy cow can produce 120 pounds of wet manure daily. This amount of waste is the equivalent to the waste of 20-40 humans. Using California as an example, there are approximately 1.5 million dairy cows used for the production of milk, cheese and veal. This equates to roughly the amount of waste that 28-56 million people can produce.
This waste will often end up in river or stream eco systems, which is often toxic to fish and other marine life, placing a huge burden on the environment. Therefore, if you want to live eco friendly, going vegan is definitely the way!
Is plastic really that bad for the environment?
By going vegan, you are likely going to be using fewer items that require the use of plastic. Plastic packaging poses several environmental risks, including the chemicals leaching into water systems, birds and other animals consuming the small pieces of plastic, as well as the green house gasses that are expelled in the production of plastic items and packaging. By eliminating animal products from your diet, you are likely using less pre-packaged food and reducing the burden on the environment.
If you are really interested in going green, there is a number of ways you can reduce your plastic usage even further. One of these ways is to bring your own reusable shopping bag with you to the grocery store. This eliminates the wastage of plastic bags, which can be highly hazardous to marine animals such as turtles. As well as this, you can use recyclable brown bags for items such as legumes and vegetables.
Are you ready to go green?
If you’re interested in reducing the burden on the environment caused by the production of meat and other animal products, being vegan is one of the best ways to live an eco friendly life. Going vegan means you are reducing the amount of land used to raise farm animals, the amount of deforestation and the amount of green house gasses that are emitted.
One of the main contributors to climate change is the use of land for the livestock industry and the issues that arise from the industry, such as cow emissions and the affects of manure. By not promoting this industry, you are taking some of the burden off the environment and reducing the demand for meat and dairy. Finally, By going vegan and eliminating animal products from your diet, youare reducing the amount of plastic you use, which may save the lives of thousands of marine animals, such as turtles, dugongs and sea birds.
That’s what I call eco friendly living!