Being vegetarian is a decision that can be due to a myriad of reasons and, on the other hand, there is a wide range of possibilities, including eating meat, as is the case with so-called flexitarians . In its purest concept, however, veganism means not eating meat, giving up animal products, which translates into a lower carbon footprint.
Contribution to the health of the planet
This contribution to the health of the planet has just been quantified in relation to a greater or lesser consumption of meat and derivatives. Thanks to a recent study by the University of Oxford, we now know that a person who does not eat meat is responsible for half of the CO2 emissions compared to who eats it every day of the week.
The difference is even greater between strict vegetarians or vegans , since they also do not consume any other animal products, in which case their footprint would be reduced to only one third of those emissions.
Livestock emissions Logically, this lower carbon footprint is due to the difference in greenhouse gas emissions that exists between agriculture and intensive livestock farming. Specifically, it was found that beef, goat and lamb were the most polluting.
The study analyzed the eating habits of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 pescetarians (they only eat fish) and 29,589 UK meat eaters. They were all adults, between the ages of 20 and 79, consuming around 2,000 calories a day.
A previous study by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) concluded that global overpopulation will force a reduction in meat consumption in the short term to save water, a scarce resource on which food security depends. Since a third of the cultivated land is dedicated to crops dedicated to animal feed, its reduction would be necessary.
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