Here is What Could Happen if Everyone Went Vegan

Aug 28 2017 - 1:31pm
Going Vegan

Just like many Vegan people we all want to make a positive difference in the world. Believe it or not, what you choose on your plate can have a huge impact on making the world a better place to live.

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Taking steps toward a plant-based diet has obvious positive impact. Perhaps you started this journey because of the health benefits you would achieve. Weight loss, reduction of risk of chronic disease, and even more energy are all great reasons to ditch the meat and increase plant foods.

You may also take a broader look at the positive impacts of going vegan: Animal welfare and climate change.

But we are just one person. Will we make a difference? The choices you make do make a huge difference. For example, cutting out just one kilo of beef (or 2.2 pounds) can save 15,000 liters of water (as it takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does a pound of plant foods).

Why stop there? We can lead others around us to reduce their meat consumption as well.

If everyone in the US went vegetarian for just one day we could:
• Save 100 billion gallons of water (enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months.)
• Save 70 million gallons of gas
• Feed the entire state of New Mexico for a year or more

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Even if everyone just replaced one chicken meal a week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, we could save as much carbon dioxide from being emitted into the air that would be the equivalent of taking more than a half a million cars off US roads.

It may be easier to convince friends and family to cut back on meat and animal foods once in a while. But eventually, if we all became vegan, by the year 2050, here is what could happen according to Oxford University. In one single year, we could:
• Cut greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds
• Save $700 billion to $1 trillion in health related expenditure
• Save $570 billion in climate damages
• Reduce global mortality by 10% - we could save as many as 8 million lives!

"We do not expect everybody to become vegan," says lead author Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Program on the Future of Food. However, "Adopting healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets can be a large step in the right direction."

For example, you could start today with these smaller steps:
• Cut your red meat intake by at least half.
• Add at least 2-4 servings per day of fruits and vegetables (above what you are currently eating – and branch out, try more than just apples and potatoes)
• Eat 15% fewer calories. If you are currently eating 3000 per day, cut back to 2550.

Journal Reference:
Marco Springmann et al. Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. April 2016

Photo Credit:
Wikimedia Commons

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