Less greenhouse gases, protection of forests and biodiversity as well as the conservation of resources: there is sufficient evidence that we have a direct impact on our environment by not using animal foods. And yet the trend is in the opposite direction: as the world population increases, so does the hunger for meat, cheese and eggs.
World Conservation Day on July 28th has made it its mission to raise public awareness of environmental protection and to remind us of the importance of our sustainable actions with regard to nature and climate protection.
We use the opportunity for a mind game: What would happen if the whole world were to eat vegan?
Various studies and investigations have already investigated this question. With a clear result:
There is no more effective way to protect the environment and biodiversity than a vegan diet.
Various researchers and studies come to the following results:
- Up to 70 percent of the agricultural greenhouse gases that are created by the production of our food would be saved and climate change would be slowed down
- Without livestock husbandry, the global agricultural areas that are used for keeping animals or growing animal feed could be reduced by up to 75 percent or used for growing grain, vegetables, fruit or other plant-based foods - an area as large as the US, China, the EU and Australia together
- Hardly any other food is as resource-intensive as meat. In addition to the agricultural land that is freed up, a vegan diet would also save billions of liters of water that is used for the production of meat and other animal products (including for the production of animal feed)
- Endangered animal species could recover and displaced wild animal species would have more space to live
In addition to the impact on the planet, a global, vegan diet would also have a positive effect on the health system, world hunger - and last but not least, every individual:
- Animal products such as meat and milk currently cover 18 percent of our calorie and 37% of our protein requirements. Four billion more people could be satisfied with the amount of grain and soy that is currently consumed every day to feed the farm animals.
- People in economically weak countries could benefit from falling grain prices and buy more food
- Studies have shown that vegans are slimmer on average, have lower blood pressure and total and LDL cholesterol levels than people who eat meat. This reduces the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes
- Switching to a plant-based diet that meets the guidelines for a wholesome diet could reduce global mortality by up to ten percent
- The global health system would be relieved and an additional 900 billion euros would be saved annually
The numbersBy the way, n also apply to organic meat and animal products with a comparatively low environmental impact. According to an Oxford study, beef with the lowest environmental impact still emits six times more greenhouse gas than the same amount of beans - and takes up 36 (!) Times more space.
According to the head of the study, Joseph Poore, abstaining from animal products "has a much greater effect than not flying an airplane or buying an electric car." dhe completely renounces animal products much more than the consumption of organically produced meat and dairy products.
And not to forget: The sad life of many billions of farm animals would not end in an agonizing and premature death. If the whole world were to eat vegan, values such as non-violence, empathy and compassion would take on a whole new meaning.
Nice (vegan) life, nice world?
So from now on we just have to eat vegan and everyone is dancing happily and in step on a pink cloud towards a better world? The matter is of course a little more complex. One thing is certain: Switching to a plant-based diet would have an enormous positive impact on the environment and the planet.
However, it would also bring some challenges. This includes, for example, that millions of people who work in animal breeding and the production of animal products would become unemployed overnight. It is also questionable whether the free pasture area could even be used for the cultivation of plant-based foods. Since meat is also viewed as a luxury good in many societies, the social and cultural aspect also plays a role and must be taken into account.
Every meal already helps
It is unrealistic to completely change one's lifestyle overnight. And doesn't have to be at all. Because even small steps help to protect our environment: Every vegan meal raises awareness and has a positive impact on us and our planet.
World Conservation Day is the ideal opportunity to actively address the issue of environmental and nature conservation and to make a contribution. Start with breakfast. With our bowls, your healthy, plant-based breakfast is on the table in less than five minutes - good vibes and karma points included. Have fun trying!
Springmann M, Wiebe K, Mason-D'Croz D, Sulser TB, Rayner M, Scarborough P. Health and nutritional aspects of sustainable diet strategies and their association with environmental impacts: a global modeling analysis with country-level detail. Lancet Planet Health. 2018 Oct; 2 (10): e451-e461. doi: 10.1016 / S2542-5196 (18) 30206-7. PMID: 30318102; PMCID: PMC6182055. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(18)30206-7/fulltext
Springmann M, Godfray HC, Rayner M, Scarborough P. Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S.A. 2016 Apr 12; 113 (15): 4146-51. doi: 10.1073 / pnas.1523119113. Epub 2016 Mar 21. PMID: 27001851; PMCID: PMC4839446. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27001851/
Appleby, P.N., M. Thorogood, J. I. Mann, et al. (1999): The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70 (3 Suppl), p. 525S-531S. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10479226/