Is a plant-based diet good for the planet?

How can your plant-based diet help the planet? What are the impacts your diet is having on the environment? How can you minimize your footprint or should I say “foodprint”?

How to help our planet?

The connection between our diet and our planet

I will list just a few of the many ways how our diet choices impact our planet. The food industry, which is tailored to suit our diet choices, is one of the leading causes of global warming and climate change. But the ways in which our diet impacts our planet are not so obvious, so let’s explain just a few of them.

Diet and greenhouse gas emissions

  • you can reduce your carbon footprint by 50%
  • up to 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced due to livestock and their byproducts
  • livestock is responsible for 65% nitric oxide emissions, which are more destructive than CO2

Diet and deforestation

  • animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction
  • 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second
  • 26 million acres of rainforest have been cleared due to palm oil production
  • 136 million acres of rainforest have been cleared due to animal agriculture

Diet and land use

  • 1/3 land is desertified due to livestock
  • livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land
  • 1.5 acres of land produce 37000 lbs plant-based food or 375 lbs meat
  • 1/6th of an acre is needed to feed a plant-based eater for a year, to feed a meat-eater 18 times more land is needed

Diet and water use

  • 1 hamburger requires 660 gallons of water, which is equivalent to showering for 2 months
  • the meat and dairy industry use 1/3 of earth’s freshwater
  • The USA uses 5% of its water for domestic use, and 55% for animal agriculture

Waste

  • waste from 2500 dairy cows equals the waste of a city of almost 500k people
  • 7 million pounds of extremities are produced every minute in the USA

Species extinction

  • 110 animal and insect species are lost every day from rainforest destruction
  • 3/4 of the world’s fish are exploited
  • for every 1 pound of fish caught, 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill
  • 90 million tons of fish are pulled out of the oceans every year
  • animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.

Plastic

  • a whole-food plant-based diet helps you use less plastic because you buy less processed, packaged foods and you buy more whole-foods
  • whole-foods can be bought in bulk or in your own packaging
Cowsipracy is a great documentary about the impacts that our diet is having on the environment.

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