If you stop eating meat,
do you really help the environment?
Social networks have been responsible for filling us with information regarding the care of the environment, and the actions that we as individuals can take to help nature and conserve our Planet Earth one of which is to change our diet and become vegetarians. If you are thinking about setting aside meat and eating only fruits, vegetables and cereals, this blog will try to help you make a final decision.
Being a very broad subject and with many aspects, I will limit myself only to the option of stopping eating meat from any animal. I will not focus on the impact that it has to stop consuming all products that have something to do with animals, there will be a blog for this topic. For the moment, let’s focus on our diet change and its true impact on nature.
When talking about helping the environment, we must necessarily talk about a sustainable way of producing the food we eat. Sustainability is responsible for its production with concerns about the environment without neglecting human needs and the benefit of people. Therefore the right approach to determine how convenient, or not, is a vegetarian diet, it’s a theme of sustainability.
I will begin by mentioning the sustainable actions of a vegetarian diet.
1. Carbon dioxide
According to studies at the University of Oxford, a person who does not consume meat is responsible for half of the CO2 produced by a person who does consume it. This is because the gases of cows and pigs contribute high content of carbon dioxide which is one of the culprits of global warming.
2. Reduction in drinking water consumption
To produce one kilogram of meat, they consume around 18,500 liters of water, while to produce a portion of rice, “only” 100 liters are needed.
3. Livestock occupies a lot of lands
Meat production occupies more than 83% of land dedicated to food production, and is responsible for more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions (methane, CO2 and CH4). If from overnight we left aside livestock, 73% of this land would go to nature.
4. High fuel usage
The transport and maintenance of meat are processes that occupy a lot of fuel, more than the production of vegetables and fruits.
And now, actions that are not sustainable from a vegetarian diet.
1.- The jungle and the avocado
In Mexico, the jungle of the state of Michoacán is being devastated in order to satisfy the demand for avocado in the world. The guacamole we eat is costing us clean air for the world.
2. Palm oil
For some edible products (and many more), palm oil is used. To obtain it, trees are harvested, which have repercussions not only on deforestation but also on the relocation of wild animals or their death or extinction.
Vegetables and fruits are more likely to end up in the trash can than meat, which becomes a problem when 20% of the food we consume ends up in the trash, making it a problem in the collection chain, which includes trash bags, fuel for transportation, and increasing the carbon footprint.
4. Rice, the invader
Rice occupies 163 million hectares in the world, almost 12% of the arable areas of the world and is one of the culprits of producing greenhouse gases due to its high rate of methane production.
5. Goodbye to food “accessory”
There are foods that only give us a small taste, such as coffee, alcohol, tea or chocolate. If we stopped consuming them, our environmental impact would be reduced by 20%.
I know, you’re probably thinking that I left you exactly the same and that you did not come to a conclusion, what I can tell you is that if your decision is based on animal abuse, you should clearly become a vegetarian, if your decision focuses on the environmental impact, there are many more ways to consider and I think that, beyond the nature of your diet (meat, vegetable or fruit), you should look at the origin of it.
Currently, there are options to consume all kinds of sustainable food, that is, they have responsible production, reducing their impact on the environment and helping the prosperity of those who produce them. Try to consume products from your country to avoid transatlantic transport costs, which is a high pollutant. Do a little research and choose products from which you know their origin.
Sustainability is a difficult path, but it is the only way to help preserve the environment.