New UN Report Says Vegan Diet Vital To Saving The Environment, Curbing Fossil Fuel Use

At the end of a recent post sardonically asking readers if they preferred oil or manure in the water, I mentioned that eating less—and preferably no—meat, eggs, and dairy products can help reduce both manure and oil spills, as it takes 10 times more fossil fuels to produce meat than to produce vegan foods. Since that post, the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) resource panel, has released a report stating that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital if we are to halt climate change and other environmental problems. The U.N. report also suggests curbing fossil fuel use, which can also be achieved by going vegan.

Experts predict that there will be at least 9 billion people in the world by 2050, and global meat consumption is projected to double by that time. Meat consumption has been steadily increasing in China and other countries that once followed a more sustainable diet rich in vegetables and whole soy foods. According to Scientific American, the UN report points out that more than half of the world’s crops are currently used to feed animals, and that conserving fuel and reducing pollution and greenhouse gasses will “only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

As things stand now, more than one-third of the fossil fuels produced in America are used to raise animals for food. Massive amounts of grains and soybeans are grown for animal feed (it takes about 700 calories worth of feed to produce just one 100-calorie piece of beef) and are transported to processors in gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing 18-wheelers. More energy is used up operating feed mills and factory farms, trucking animals to slaughter, operating slaughterhouses, and then trucking the meat to processing plants, and so on. (Some of these stages are needed to produce and store vegan foods too, of course, but if everyone goes vegan, there will be no need for feed mills, factory farms, and slaughterhouses—and the multiple tractor-trailer trips between them.)

Much like BP, I don’t know how to stop the ever-spreading oil spill in the gulf (although Matter of Trust’s “hairmat” program seems worth pursuing), but following the basic “use less, spill less” concept can help prevent future spills.

And since eating a vegan diet can help mitigate climate change, stop forest destruction, and reduce pollution—as well as animal suffering and many human health problems—I hope everyone will finally heed the U.N.’s call to go vegan. As the UNEP’s Janet Salem pointed out, many environmental problems can be traced to our choice of food. If you haven’t already done so, why not take the 30-day veg pledge and find out how easy it is to be green?

3Story.com

231 comments

William C
William C4 months ago

Thank you.

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W. C
W. C4 months ago

Thanks.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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michael jackson
michael jackson2 years ago

There is an issue here of balance. To me less meat eaten means less cattle. I live in open countryside . When I first arrived there were cattle then there was a period when they were replaced and now they are back. What this confirms is the importance of cattle to the wider natural world. Cattle produce sloppy cow pats which are ideal for insects to lay eggs which means more insects. Insects are essential food for birds. In particular swallows and warblers. When the cattle were replaced the swallow population dropped from hundreds to a couple. Same for house martins. Now the cattle are back so are the birds. So before you make blanket proposals with good intentions you should consider the negative effects of that move. Nothing is that simple.

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Dorothy M.
Dorothy M2 years ago

Usama Z. -- Thank you for your excellent posts. I hope many people will read them and learn from them.

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Dorothy M.
Dorothy M2 years ago

Similar to Marie B., I chose to be vegan, and I chose not to have children. These two choices have given me a great deal of peace. What I eat does not conflict with my love and concern for animals. And not having children does not conflict with my concern for the environment. Both choices go hand in hand when considering the greater good.

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Marie B.
Marie B3 years ago

'Kate R', first of all, I am vegan. Secondy, apparently you forgot that your 'meat', the BILLIONS AND BILLIONS animals (soon be 'corpses') eat SEVERAL plants, animals, chemicals, GMO's, and use up (should I say, OVER USE SEVERAL WATER SUPPLY THAT WE HUMANS COULD USE), --did you forget that??
By the way, I know SEVERAL vegans who had NO CHILDREN, it doesn't matter though, because some people later in life what overpopulation what a problem is, what then when they have had children?? How many did you have? I've had ZERO children, btw.

The only problem with people feel 'superior' that put on people 'label' that people put they 'label' on us. You apparently are angry about VEGANS.
btw, I didn't make any 'sacrifices', I did what I'd do for animals, the environment, people and the future of the Earth. It's funny, I never looked it as a 'sacrifice', but you do. Interesting

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Kate R.
Past Member 3 years ago

If the human population keeps expending at the rate it is doing, life on this planet will become unsustainable. A vegan family with several vegan children, uses up far more of the world's resources than a child-free omnivorous couple. If you want to "save the world" stop breeding, then there would be plenty of everything for everyone, factory farming would be unnecessary & die out, & the natural environment would be able to recover as it would be under less stress. But you won't, will you? You're not prepared to make the "sacrifice" of foregoing the production of your own personal tribe of mini-mes, & by your selfishness you're condemning all future generations to a truly miserable future. Many of them will be your direct decendents. But you'd rather spend your time slagging off meat-eaters because it makes you feel superior.

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Usama Zubair
Usama Z4 years ago

The moral and ethical imperative is not to eat less of what is bad for us,cruel for the world's hungry and cruel for the animals as well as destructive to the planet, it is simply not debatable, it is unsustainable and a moral wrong just like slavery, rape or child molestation and it must not be condoned or encouraged in any way.

This absurdity of "eat less meat" is a conformist and absurd rational to continuing the horrible practice.

Eat less flesh and mammary secretions, is like saying have less slaves, rape less, molest children less. Eating animals is a social evil that must be abolished, it is wrong to unnecessarily devour sentient beings who are born into a life of oppression and exploitation and systematically mass murdered to satisfy gluttonous appetites and by doing so grave we rip grave consequences that plague humans with disease and ravage the Earth, nature and the environment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fws0f9s4Bas

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