5 Ways Vegetarianism Can Help Save the Environment

There is no doubt that there is a huge impact of humans on the environment. And, only we can reduce that impact. Well, the easiest way anyone can do this is by not eating meat or using animal products. 

According to the reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, to produce one quarter-pound hamburger, it takes 150 gallons of water. So, by comparison, producing 1 pound of wheat needs 60 to 100 gallons of water, and producing one egg demands  20 gallons. Similarly, producing 1 pound of chicken needs 10 gallons of water, and the production of one orange needs only 1 gallon.

As a fact, a vegetarian diet doesn’t win on every count in the water-to-produce-food battle, but it can be easily seen that among the five examples cited above, beef is the big loser. 

Now, considering that how can vegetarianism — free of meat and other animal flesh — can benefit not just water conservation but the environment overall? Many people emphasize that the vegetarian lifestyle helps the planet in myriad ways.

Regarding that, Executive Director of the Earth Day Initiative John Oppermann said, 

“Animal agriculture plays a role in almost all of the major environmental issues that plague our earth — climate change, habitat loss and destruction, wildlife extinction, overconsumption, soil degradation, water pollution, and air pollution, just to name a few.”

He also stated that it’s more profitable for people to eat something leafy, rather than only eating the flesh of animals.

He further said, 

“An agricultural system focused on livestock production is arguably not sustainable, and we live in a world where sustainability needs to be everyone’s priority.”

So, here we have listed some environmental benefits of vegetarianism.

1. Reduces Energy Consumption

Increase in growth of cattle animals costs a lot of energy. It is because of the wide range of factors like meat products need to be refrigerated and shipped, and these animals consume a lot of food which was cultivated on land that could have been put to other use. Also, meat products demand a long time to process from slaughterhouse to kitchen table. 

2. Cleans the Soil

Cattle animals not only pollute water but also weaken and erode the soil. Although, this is partly because the growing of livestock generally heads towards deforestation. It clears large parts of the land filled with trees, that store nutrient, to make room for the cattle animals to roam.

3. Purifies the Air

More than cars, buses, planes, ships and other modes of transportation in the world combined, all the livestock in the world causes air pollution. While, in comparison, plants clean the air.

4. Conserves Water

As already mentioned above, livestock guzzles more fresh water than just about anyone else. And, this is known to all that around hundreds of millions of people around the world don't have access to clean or drinking water. It has been observed that sometimes because of drought or the mismanagement of water sources, many more people struggle with periodic water scarcity.

Livestock is the biggest polluters of fresh water. The more livestock the world replaces with plants, the more water scarcity will increase. As already mentioned, it takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of plant foods. 

On this, an Editorial Coordinator at Global Citizen Meghan Werft wrote,

"Cutting down on just one kilo of beef saves 15,000 liters of water. And replacing a roast chicken with a hearty veggie chili or bean stew (which has similar protein levels) saves 4,325 liters of water." 

5. It’s More Ethical

Last but not least. It's so unethical or immoral. Animals also deserve a dignified life. Don't you agree that- 

“All life deserves respect, dignity, and compassion? All life.” 

Similarly, they shouldn’t tolerate from birth to death only. Sad but true that this is the life a lot of them have when born into factory farms.

Final Thoughts

Well, in conclusion, if you even cut meat out of one or two of your meals per week, it will be a dent in this grim reality. Even one great American legal scholar Gary L. Francione said, 

“Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.”

So, try it. You will surely feel good. 

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