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Being vegan or vegetarian is not simply a dietary requirement, it’s a life choice and it does effect the environment more than you think. Earlier this year, I decided to officially go vegetarian. Prior to this, I would eat it on occasions but I made the decision to simply not eat it at all. This was simply because, after researching vegetarianism, I felt more and more uncomfortable with eating meat for various environmental and moral reasons. I never really enjoyed the taste of it anyway and I genuinely feel healthier since giving it up sine I now supplement my diet with more vegetables and fruit.
So how does being vegan/vegetarian effect the environment? Firstly, it reduces your carbon footprint. If you buy meat you’re contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and switching to a vegan diet can reduce your carbon footprint from up to 50%. Research based in the US shows that big meat eaters have a higher carbon footprint that vegetarians or vegans. In fact, before they have even had anything to drink or have eaten non-meat products, their carbon dioxide emission is already higher than a vegan or vegetarian’s emission. On top of this, most of the plant based food is grown for the animals that are farmed to be killed for meat produce. These animals tend to eat a lot more than a normal animal requires to eat because it’s the farmers job to help the animal develop faster, which will obviously produce more profit when selling the meat.
As the meat industry grows, we require more land to farm these animals. To acquire this land, we would have to cut down more trees in order to make room. It’s a snowballing effect of which you have most likely heard before; trees give out oxygen, therefore the oxygen levels will reduce, meaning less rainfall – less rainfall that helps to grow crops, resulting in less food – less food that we need to feed us (and animals). Although, cutting down trees may seem like a minor issue, they play a tremendous factor in the reproduction of many things. For example, simply providing oxygen to keep us alive.
I’m not, by an means, an expert in this field and I am not trying to be. I’m just a girl that’s done some research and likes her veggies.