There are three main reasons people choose to go Vegan. For the people, for the animals and for the planet.
A recent study came out stating that eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables could actually be more harmful to the environment than consuming meat. The researchers analysed the impact per calorie of different foods in terms of energy cost, water use and emissions.
Researchers did not argue that humans should be eating less meat, or the fact that livestock contributes to an enormous proportion of global greenhouse gases, up to 51% according to some studies.
They compared the calorie for calorie impact of eating a diet rich in low-calorie vegetables versus meat. I have not met or heard of a vegan that gets the majority of their calories from lettuce or cucumbers. That would be unsustainable not only for the planet but for Vegans/Vegetarians themselves. That is why headlines like “Vegetarian diets are bad for the planet” are so misleading and really irresponsible on the part of the mainstream media.
The research only looked at “calorie-for-calorie” comparison, for example, 100 calories of bacon, versus 100 calories from a cucumber.
According to Scientific American, meat production, especially beef farming, is harmful to the environment, releasing “prodigious amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”
Cows, goats and sheep emit 37% of the planet’s methane. A study by Nasa found that methane has significantly more effect on climate change than previously thought: 33 times more than carbon dioxide!
Today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and pigs, are crammed into Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. These animals are literally imprisoned and tortured in unhealthy, unsanitary and unconscionably cruel conditions.
Sickness is the norm for animals who are confined rather than pastured, and who eat GMO corn and soybeans, rather than grass and forage as nature intended. To prevent the inevitable spread of disease from stress, overcrowding and lack of vitamin D, animals are fed a steady diet of antibiotics. Those antibiotics pose a direct threat to the environment when they run off into our lakes, rivers, aquifers and drinking water.
– EcoWatch (How Factory Farming Contributes to Global Warming)