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Eating For the Environment: 5 Benefits of Consuming More Plants

Many of us have considered going plant-based for ethical reasons or even for our physical health. However, few realize the positive impact that reducing our meat intake can have on the planet.

There are many ways in which plant-based proteins are changing the food industry. For example, US soy production that is done sustainably can have a remarkable impact on soil and energy usage, and relying on this as a food source more than meat can have an even wider impact on the environment overall.

If you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, here’s how veganism can help.

Reduce Greenhouse Gasses

Unfortunately, the meat industry is a large contributor to pollution and climate change, and this is largely due to greenhouse gasses. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, opting for more plant-based meals more often could be a great help.

Studies have shown that meat accounts for nearly 60% of the world’s food production gas emissions, which implies that less demand for animal products could lead to a decrease in this amount.

Reduce Energy Consumption

The push for renewable energy is making waves, but even so, it’s important that our overall consumption is minimized, at least until we can stop relying on fossil fuels completely.

The production of meat is also heavy on energy usage. There is a lot of processing that needs to take place in order to get your meat clean, cut, packaged, and on the shelves of your grocery store. This is not to mention the heavy processing that meats like bacon and sausages go through. Obviously, this is a much less sustainable method of food production than veggies and beans require.

Conserve Water

You might think that watering crops would require more water consumption than animal agriculture, but you would be mistaken. Cattle farming and growing livestock feed are some of the most water-heavy farming activities in the industry, which means that it can take gallons and gallons of water to produce the meat on your plate.

Going vegan, or at least reducing your meat consumption, can massively decrease your carbon footprint and aid in global water conservation.

Protect Ocean Life

Sometimes, people choose to go vegan to save the ocean. Not only is fishing destroying underwater ecosystems, but animal waste has become a serious and hazardous pollutant to the ocean.

The meat industry has wreaked havoc on ocean life and this, together with other waste that’s already polluting the sea, is destabilizing our oceans and leaving them in need of recovery.

Protect the Soil

Finally, animal agriculture can be damaging to the soil too – which in turn makes it difficult to produce the plants and plant-based protein sources the world is desperately in need of.

Cattle farmers often either erode or over-cultivate the soil with their farming practices, leaving large expanses of farmland unusable or at least in need of serious treatment.

Reducing your meat intake even by one or two meals per week can make a huge difference to the planet, so try out some vegan recipes this month and do your part.

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