For many like myself, it can be hard to imagine giving up meat and other animal-based foods, but many do. This is known as a vegan diet, and many question how much of an impact one person going vegan can have.
According to the Vegan calculator, just going vegan for one month can save the lives of 30 animals, prevent 620 pounds of CO2 from entering our atmosphere, save a whopping 33,481 gallons of water, and much more.
So yeah, just one person going vegan can make a huge difference.
What Is Vegan?
One of the most confusing aspects is knowing what veganism actually is.
Many people still think vegan is just another word for vegetarian, but it’s not. A vegan is a person who does not consume any animal-based products. This includes meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
Whereas a vegetarian will consume eggs and dairy.
The diet has a variety of benefits outside of animal conservation and climate benefits. Vegan diets help fight obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and many other common health problems associated with a poor diet.
Overall, it’s a healthier lifestyle that will improve health and lower the impact on the environment.
On the flip-side, though, some people have been known to become anemic or suffer other ill side effects when changing their diets in drastic measures. So, veganism isn’t for everyone.
Meat Production Is a Huge Emitter
We’ve covered this in the past, but meat production produces a lot of emissions.
These farms and ranches that house the animals take up huge amounts of land that could be used for other, more environmentally friendly land usage.
Not to mention that cows, the most populace of farm animals, emit methane. A greenhouse gas that is 80 times more potent than carbon. And when you have a billion cows, it adds up fast.
Reports indicate that the world will need to double food production by 2050 to accommodate the growing population on Earth. This means the impact will only get greater and will hurt biodiversity as farms will opt to grow the easiest foods.
If more people adopt a vegan lifestyle, it can have a huge impact on how food production will evolve to meet this demand.
It Has An Influence On Everyone Around You
One of the most underestimated aspects of going vegan is the impact it has on others around you.
Let’s face it, peer pressure is a thing and your friends and family will try to accommodate your changing food pallet by making sure they go to restaurants that support vegan and vegetarian options.
They may even give what you’re eating a try.
Thus, you just helped convert another person to your lifestyle, even if it’s just for one meal.
There’s also no denying the popularity boost vegan and vegetarian diets have received. Even fast-food restaurants are trying to ensure they have a plant-based option on their menus.
The Impossible Whopper at Burger King is a great example. And it’s not just fast-food restaurants as just about every supermarket carries Impossible or Beyond products in the meat section.
Ultimately, as the demand for plant-based foods increases, it will have an impact on the amount of meat the world consumes.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.