Veggly and Abillion founders, Alex Felipelli and Vikas Garg respectively, calls for the UN to ban meat at COP27, and all future climate summits
The eyes of the world are focused on COP27 this week for a good reason – our political leaders, top scientists, businesses leaders, charities, and activists are together in Egypt to collaborate, develop and discover new ways to solve the worsening climate crisis.
The fate of the world is literally on the line. Whether you believe in the ability of climate summits or the UN to address the crisis, we should all be hoping, collectively, that the summit provides success and momentum for climate action. The impact of the work we put in today will be felt in the decades to come on a global scale. Now is the time for governments, businesses, communities and individuals to realize how crucial this issue is, and how we don’t have time to kick the can down the road and expect future leaders to solve the problem. It’ll be too late by then. As the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said: “the world is on the highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator”. Clearly, time is of the essence…
So, if we’re going to put our faith in our leaders at COP27, we should expect them to set a positive example on living sustainably, right? Surely we should be expecting them to at least follow a plant-based diet while they’re at the summit, right? Even if they’re not full time herbivores, you would hope that they would want to at least show the world that they understand the huge role animal-based food plays in global warming…
Well, apparently that’s still too much to ask. I was disappointed to see this week that ‘VIPs’ at COP27 have been dining on beef, chicken, fish, dairy products and more! Despite peer-reviewed science that shows clearly that we must move away from animal products if we are to create a sustainable, low emissions food system, they seemingly don’t care or don’t know. I’m not sure which is worse…
It simply doesn’t make any sense. Not only are they choosing animal-based food options that are far more environmentally damaging than the plant-based options, they are also setting a terrible example when it comes to wider climate action and faith in the summit to tackle the problem. Why should anyone think COP27 will be a success if so many of the people we’re counting on to make the changes needed can’t make such a relatively easy switch.
But this begs another question: why would the summit serve these options in the first place? How hard would it be to make the entire event plant-based? Relatively speaking, it wouldn’t be that much of a challenge. If anything, it would be easier. It is for this reason that my colleagues and I are calling for a ban on meat at all future climate summits. We can’t allow this oxymoronic behaviour to continue. You can’t say you’re totally committed to saving the planet if you’re choosing to provide and eat products that are so damaging to our ecosystems.
I can only imagine that it’s for reasons like this – there must be many – that Greta Thunberg has elected not to go this year. She has seen through the contradictions and cognitive dissonance of so many people at these summits, and has therefore decided to focus her energy elsewhere and set a positive example. Of course, Greta is vegan, so that helps!
Let’s just hope the current organisers and attendees of COP27 realise the benefits of plant-based living as well, before it’s too late…
New call for plant-based diets from the world’s largest vegan community
As world leaders gather in Glasgow for the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, many people are divided between feeling hopeful that effective change is coming in terms of combating climate change. Meanwhile, others look at COP26 with skepticism, after all, there have been other similar conferences which weren’t enough to prevent the nearly dystopian scenario of massive environmental destruction we’re in now. It’s understandable why so many people have difficulty trusting world leaders who have made empty promises about saving the environment in the past.
Possibly because things have reached such a critical state, there is also the expectation that COP26 will be the event that changes it all, but what could actually be done to reverse the consequences of human action on our planet? Well, to any experienced vegans, the answer might no be such a huge surprise.
Here’s how veganism can help:
A recent survey by Veggly has shown that a whopping 97% of vegan users see veganism as incredibly important to the environment. In addition, around two-thirds have cited environmental concern as a main reason for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. The survey also shows that the size and total land occupation of livestock is equally concerning as fossil fuel emissions. This indicates how vegans understand the role animal agriculture plays in climate change and global warming, and how veganism can be fundamental in terms of sustainability.
World leaders at COP26 should pay attention to these findings. The world’s vegan population is growing, and the sentiment is very clear. More and more people are calling for a world that operates a plan-based food system.
Livestock occupies the majority of fertile land (over 80%) while yielding a relatively small portion of the world’s protein and calorie output (less than 20%). A plant-based food economy would be more land-efficient and would allow for much more comprehensive reforestation and carbon capture, all the while heavily curbing livestock methane emissions.
Veggly’s confirmation of environmental enthusiasm among vegans indicates that COP26 attendees might benefit from partnering with plant-based movements towards a more vegan future. It’s time to listen to science, once again, and make the necessary commitments to make sure things will change drastically from now on
The Amazon rainforest is so big that, if it was considered to be a country of its own, it would be the 6th biggest country in the world. In fact, even though the biggest part of it is within Brazilian borders, the Amazon actually spans across 8 other South American countries. It is also one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, harboring more than 3 million species with more being discovered every year. This uniquely rich environment is the home to many indigenous people of different tribes and cultures. So far it would seem that, in the context of global warming and climate change, the Amazon rainforest wouldn’t only be referred to as an incredibly important part of the planet, but actually be treated as one. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
It would be a stretch to say that the Amazon was properly preserved in the past: deforestation has been a serious problem since the 1970s, during the military dictatorship which ended in 1985. It is now reaching a point of no return, having lost 20% of its coverage of millions of miles in just a few decades.This represents a massive amount of carbon dioxide that will not be absorbed from the atmosphere. However, even though this situation should be treated as an issue to be tackled, things keep getting worse. Under the government of Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro, the Amazon rainforest’s deforestation hit a 12-year high due to policies aimed at weakening environmental law enforcement agencies and Bolsonaro’s denial of climate change alerts.
Even though the record breaking deforestation caught the world’s attention, the Amazon continues to burn, and one of the reasons for that is cattle ranching. Considering that, for many vegans and vegetarians, two core values are animal rights and environmental protection, the importance of preserving the Amazon rainforest’s deforestation can’t go unnoticed.
Things might not be looking so optimistic at the moment, but maybe it isn’t too late to make a change. It’s not exactly possible to individually prevent deforestation or single handedly fix everything, but it is possible to act in other ways. Speaking to people about it, going after and spreading information to draw as much attention to this matter as possible are great to start, but it can go further. Only when people stop consuming animal products will deforestation stop being so profitable. And that is the most guaranteed way to make it stop.
September 5th was this year’s Amazon Day in Brazil, and it is a good opportunity for the whole world to once again turn its attention to it as well. There so much to be fixed, but there is also so much to be celebrated as well. It isn’t just about being amazed at how impressive the rainforest is for its size, beauty and biodiversity, but also about understanding how much the Amazon could keep contributing to society if seriously protected.
Choosing a vegan lifestyle is not only about your dietary preferences; committing yourself to a genuinely vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle extends to all other areas of your life, from beauty and personal care products, fashion items like shoes, bags, and clothes, cleaning supplies for the home, furniture and home decór, since animal products happen to be found in a number of things you may not even imagine, and even when products can be vegan, which means that they don’t contain animal products, they may have been tested on animals, which is why it’s important to go for cruelty-free options as well.
If you want to know more about the basics of how to go vegan and have a truly committed vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle at home, keep reading to learn what the experts told us.
As a new vegan, what are the staple foods that should never be missed in your pantry?
Nutritional Yeast – Fortified nutritional yeast is an essential vegan pantry staple making sure you get enough vitamin B-12, naturally found in meat. Often referred to as ‘nooch,’ it can be an acquired taste that adds umami and ‘cheesy’ flavor to your meal. It can be stirred into recipes towards the end of cooking. Or try sprinkling it over the top of pizza, salads, soups, pasta dishes, etc. I recommend starting with a small amount, adding more as you get used to this savory ingredient.
Cashews – When you’re looking for dairy alternatives, raw cashews work wonders in everything from vegan mac and cheese, vegan queso and alfredo, cashew ricotta, vegan cheesecake, vegan cream, and more. Those who are free of nut allergies will benefit from adding this versatile nut to your pantry. They blend up creamy smooth in seconds with a quick soak, and you will never miss dairy again!
Legumes – Whether dried or canned, stocking a variety of legumes such as lentils, beans, and peas is a must. They are extremely versatile and the main protein in a vegan diet. Not only are they inexpensive and extremely versatile, but legumes are also low in fat, high in protein and fiber. Plus, they carry essential micronutrients and phytochemicals to keep you at your best.
Spices – Although they are not really a food, having a good assortment of spices on hand will enhance your plant-based meal. I love the simplicity of simple salt and pepper, but spices and herbs can make all the difference and make your recipe come alive. I recommend sourcing the freshest dried spices and using fresh herbs whenever possible.
What kind of vegan options can we have at home as meat substitutes that provide the proteins required?
The first thing that people need to know is that most of us eat too much protein, and unless you are only eating vegan junk foods, the likelihood of you not getting enough protein is slim to none.
Please check out this video (from 2014) by Dr. Michael Gregor in which he answers the question: “Do vegetarians get enough protein?”. As he states in the video: The average requirement is 42 grams of protein a day. Non-vegetarians get way more than they need, and so does everyone else. On average, vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need every day. Dr. Gregor also has a great cookbook: The How Not to Diet Cookbook.
In your experience, what are the Do’s and Don’ts when someone starts to adopt a vegan lifestyle?
“Taking the first step is always the hardest”, but becoming vegan has never been easier than it is right now. So many new options – buying food, dining out, clothes, personal care items, sources of information etc. Everything points to an easier lifestyle than ever before.
What can I eat? – Meat, milk products, eggs, seafood, it’s easy to think that your diet will be seriously limited, but this is simply not true. Most peoples’ diets are very limited by what they choose to base their meal options around. There are a vastly larger number of fruits and vegetable options to base your meals on than animal-based options. Also, for an easy transition, there are also a huge number of faux-products – meat substitutes, dairy-free milks, cheeses, pastries, and ice-creams. You don’t have to forego your fave dishes because these days there are plant-based replicas. It’s just a case of finding the shops and outlets where you can buy them from. And it’s the same with dining out – the hardest part is getting started. Once you familiarise yourself with the local vegan-friendly options, you will find that you can eat at most places, and maybe you just do should not want to support places that do not cater at all to vegans. If you find yourself really short of options, try Italian, Indian, Chinese restaurants – you can always find a few options in these places.
Important foods for vegans – everyone needs to consume essential minerals, vitamins, and other components to ensure optimal health, and vegans are no different. Thankfully a well-planned vegan diet lends itself very well to good health. Most dieticians recommend only a vitamin B12 supplement for vegans since modern living has stripped food of this essential item. However, often vegan-friendly milks, margarines, cheeses, yogurts, even cereals will be fortified with B12. Other vegans take vitamin D supplements if they live in less sunny climes. Yet others take fatty acid supplements, however, studies indicate that most people can synthesize what they need. But the truth is that everyone should follow a healthy diet and you might find that your own supplement requirements are different. You can find many recommended vegan nutritionists online to allay any concerns.
How to tolerate the talk – Being vegan can be very challenging, especially when it comes to the thoughts and reactions of non-vegans, whether they be friends, family, co-workers, or just people you meet. Chances are you will be ridiculed, warned about your health by self-appointed “health experts”, treated to attacks from home-spun irrational philosophers, even ostracised. And the crazy thing is that this is usually from the most ignorant.
The trick is to be prepared. Dealing with these issues is challenging at the start, but the more often you address them, the more confident you will become. You will soon recognize the most familiar lines and build up your own stock answers to them. Remember that science and philosophy are on your side. There are plenty of online resources to help you, including vegan Youtube channels. And try to adopt an engaging and positive approach wherever possible because you are now an advocate for doing the right thing.
Staying the course – Making the transition can appear daunting but do not despair; you are not alone. There are more like-minded vegans than you might imagine, wherever you live. “A problem shared is a problem halved”, so get involved in on-line vegan communities such as Facebook or forums, or join local vegan clubs. And if there isn’t one, start one!
What are the benefits of a vegan diet on our overall health?
In a socio-cultural and economic environment, with large-scale publicity aimed towards influencing the consumption of products and, as consequence, diets, we grow up with the idea that we need animal products such as meat and milk to achieve good health and, many times, social status. However, a strictly vegetarian diet is filled with all the nutrients our bodies need and is scientifically proved to be effective in keeping the body healthy at any stage of a human being’s life.
There are many studies that report the benefits of being vegan and following a plant-based diet. This kind of diet tends to offer more fibers, antioxidants, as well as being even richer in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
According to the American Heart Association, this type of diet is also effective at preventing cardiac diseases. A study was carried out by the association with 100 participants with pre-existing heart conditions to rate the performance of heart functions for patients with omnivorous and vegetarian diets. The vegetarian diet was shown to significantly reduce systemic inflammation and improved the lipid profiles for the patients, while this wasn’t the case for those with an omnivore diet.
Among other benefits of being vegan is the potential to reduce risks for some types of cancer. Regularly eating vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer by 9 to 18%. Among the cancers that we can reduce the chances of risk, we have prostate cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.
It can be observed that plant-based living is not only healthy and diverse but can also help us live better and longer.
How do you know when a beauty product is cruelty-free? What should we be looking for?
First, check to see if the beauty brand is listed on Leaping Bunny’s Cruelty-Free List or PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies List. You can also check my cruelty-free brands list. If the brand is in either of these three spots, great! It’s easy to tell they’re cruelty-free.
If it is a smaller brand, such as an indie brand like Necromancy Cosmetica, Fyrinnae, or Sydney Grace Co, you’ll want to check their FAQ page or about page to see if they list their cruelty-free status. Most indie brands will be very transparent. Necromancy Cosmetica, for example, states that their lipsticks are made with 100% vegan materials that have never been tested on animals.
If a brand isn’t on Leaping Bunny’s, PETA’s, or my cruelty-free list, and they don’t have the details in their FAQ page, you’ll need to email them.
The questions I typically ask a new brand now are as follows: (these questions were created with my bestie Jen from My Beauty Bunny 1. Is your company certified by Leaping Bunny/CCIC? 2. Are the products vegetarian? (no animals killed for the products – i.e. some forms of collagen, squalane, etc.) 3. Are the products vegan? (i.e. product ingredients that come from animals like lanolin, honey, milk, etc.
Are the finished products tested on animals by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company? 5. Are the products tested on animals during the production process by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company? 6. Do you have documents from your ingredient suppliers to show that they are not testing on animals for your brand or any other brand? 7. Does your manufacturer purchase any ingredients from laboratories that conduct tests on animals? Do you have documents to support this? 8. Are the products sold in any markets where animal testing is required by local law and regulations (China, etc)? 9. If the products are sold in China, please explain how you are avoiding pre-market testing (are you aligned with PETA or Leaping Bunny)?
The information you’re looking for is whether or not the brand tests on animals or if the brand contracts out to their manufacturers/suppliers/a third-party vendor for animal testing.
What kind of materials should we look to incorporate in our home to make it vegan and cruelty-free?
Decorative Pillows:“Covers made from linen, bamboo, and organic cotton are healthier alternatives to leather and wool. They are free from harmful chemicals, vegan, and super soft.”
Pillow Inserts:“Consider rubber, kapok, or buckwheat fill for your decorative pillows instead of foam. These fills, unlike foam, are completely organic and free from off-gassing (the harmful chemicals that foam releases). They are also vegan.”
Sofa Cushion Filling:“When a sofa, for example, is touted as faux, make sure you check the fill. The upholstery can be a faux leather or velvet. However, the foam cushions underneath can be wrapped in feathers or down.”
Comforters and Blankets:“How yummy to wrap yourself in a soft thick cotton, bamboo, or faux fur blanket. These are much healthier, kinder options that contain less chemicals than a wool or down-filled blanket.”
Rugs:“I’m a fan of cotton, hemp, jute, and sisal. They are affordable, organic, and have fewer chemicals than wool or silk rugs. Plus, there are endless styles and patterns that are non-animal based.”
Printed Fabrics:“Printed fabrics are beautiful and come in endless prices and styles. Try to find fabrics that use natural dyes that are either vegetable or water-based.”
What tips can you give us to start a vegan lifestyle and actually stick to it?
Our Top 10 Tips to Get You Started
It’s all in the planning!
Don’t wake up on the first day of your vegan adventure without having thought about what you might eat! That is the absolute quickest way to fall off the wagon. Ahead of time, have a think about your first day’s meals and buy plant milk for your breakfast and coffee or tea, some dairy-free butter for toast or sandwiches, and something tasty for your dinner.
Some people find making a weekly meal planner helpful, so they always know what they need to shop for and what they will be eating.
Look out for accidentally vegan foods
There are so many everyday foods that just happen to be vegan, so open up your cupboard and take a look. Pasta, rice, peanut butter and Marmite, most breads, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and kidney beans, jam and marmalade, coconut milk, curry pastes, tomato puree, baked beans, many crisps, crackers and biscuits, herbs and spices, many gravy granules, tea, coffee and fruit juice… There is a good chance that half the foods you already eat are vegan!
Ease yourself in
There is no need to reinvent your whole eating habits. If you like a sausage sandwich, have one – just make sure the sausages are vegan. If you want ice cream, go ahead. There are dozens of different delicious flavours out there. You can have almost everything you had before in a vegan version, so just switch like for like.
Veganise your favourite dishes
Again, there is no need to adopt a whole new eating regime. If your signature dish is lasagne, make a vegan version with soya mince and plant milk for the béchamel. If you love a morning fry-up, you can make it with vegan bacon and sausages. Whether you cook curries, casseroles, soups, stews, pies and pasties, roast dinners, cakes, desserts or anything else, simply veganise it.
When you’re ready, branch out
Many people find that becoming vegan opens up a whole new world of recipes and ingredients, and rekindles their love of great food. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, why not jump in and try some brand-new recipes (there are thousands online) and see if it ignites your culinary passions.
Keep snacks to hand
Don’t get caught out! It’s really easy to pick up vegan snacks in most places but not everywhere, so make sure you keep a bag of nuts, a chocolate bar or some fruit in your bag or car just in case.
Not every vegan product will work for you but just because the first cheese you try or the first latte you make doesn’t hit the spot, don’t rule out all other cheeses and plant milks. There are so many different ones to try – cream cheese, melty cheeses, nut-based, coconut-based, soya-based, all flavours and lots of different brands and styles; and as for milks, you’ll find oat, hemp, almond, coconut, rice and soya. Try them all, and you will soon find your perfect match.
Like eating out? Download the HappyCow app onto your phone and let it guide you to your nearest restaurant, café or shop where you can find vegan food wherever you are in the world.
Find your tribe
It’s easy to feel isolated as a new vegan but there are millions of us out there. Find your local vegan meetup group and make like-minded friends in real life or search online for vegan groups that interest you. From vegan runners to bakers to knitters; from vegan weightlifters to fashionistas to activists. They’re all there waiting for you.
Be kind to yourself
Everyone makes mistakes. Whether you ate something non-vegan accidentally or simply gave in to temptation, it’s OK. It doesn’t mean you are no longer vegan; it just means you are human! Chalk it up to experience and move forward.
What mistakes should be avoided when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?
First things first – don’t be too hard on yourself. Some people find it easier than others to give up animal products completely from day 1, but others may go back to their normal eating habits from time to time, and both are ok; that’s just part of the process. Don’t beat yourself up for “not doing it right”.
Next, try to avoid vegan junk food. Most people think that just by being vegan, you’re automatically healthier, but that’s definitely not the case if your daily meals just consist of burgers and pizza. I highly recommend you do your research and have lots of healthy vegan recipes on hand to experiment with. Personally, I’m a fan of adding at least 50% raw food into your daily meals as that gives you lots more nutrition. Try dividing your plate in half – fill half your plate with something cooked and make the other half a salad.
Lastly, don’t worry about protein and calorie counting. It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. In fact, vegetarians and vegans actually average 70% more protein than they need every day. Just make sure you have plenty of variety, listen to what your body needs (not craves!) and enjoy your food.
-Anya Andreeva, founder of Live Love Raw and author of “How To Be A Raw Foodie”.
What recommendations can you give us to raise vegan children?
Raising vegan children can come with a set of unique challenges for parents. Talking to children about veganism from an early age can be a daunting task. Especially as reasons for being vegan are not always kid-friendly. However, it’s important to be transparent with your child about why your family is vegan, even if it’s a little uncomfortable at first. There are a lot of resources out there from vegan children’s books to vegan subscription services like Vegancuts. After all, as a parent, you never want your child to feel like they are “missing out”. At Vegancuts we curate 100% vegan snack boxes each month to showcase the very best vegan products on the market. Embracing fun experiences like subscription boxes go a long way to ensuring your kids don’t feel “left out” – and who knows, it might even make their friends jealous!
Why is it important for vegans to supplement with B12 vitamin? Why is this necessary?
Vitamin B12 used to be found in the soil where we farm our food. But over the centuries of over-farming, our soil is mostly barren of naturally occurring B12, which leaves no plant-based sources of it (although it’s worth noting that B12 deficiency rates are about the same in both vegans and non-vegans alike). B12 is a very important vitamin, and deficiencies can have symptoms ranging from sluggishness all the way to irreversible brain damage! A deficiency can take years to develop, as we can store it in our livers for 3-7 years, so even if you haven’t supplemented for years and your blood tests are fine now, it doesn’t mean that they will be down the line. With vitamin B12 supplements being so affordable and readily available, there is no reason not to take the supplement and stay healthy — vegan or not.
– Dani Taylor, Vegan Strong Assistant Tour Director, Author, Vegan Strength Coach, and Natural Bodybuilding Athlete
As you can see, nowadays, you can find vegan options for almost everything you need to move forward to a fully vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle. As more of us choose this way of living, more products will be offered in the market to cover all the needs of this growing trend all over the world.
Here are some benefits of being vegan and how we contribute to the lives of animals, the environment and our own health in the course of one year.
The fundamental premise of veganism is to save animal lives, even if at a limited capacity. This means taking an ethical stance in favor of those who suffer throughout all levels of human consumption: food, clothing, accessories, cosmetics and events. In our daily lives, this seems like a long list of chores, but avoiding certain kinds of consumption is possible and can have many positive results. We become more aware and responsible with all forms of life.
Animal exploitation lies at the center of a series of harmful consequences, like the violation of animal rights as sentient beings capable of feeling pain, fear and demonstrating happiness and love. The environmental devastation promotes climate changes, increased pollution, emission of greenhouse gases, expropriation of native people and the expulsion and death of animals in their natural habitats. For humans, animal consumption might also be unhealthy.
“If anyone argued that discriminating and exploiting non-human animals is justified because they are less intelligent, or because we are stronger and more powerful, then we’d have to accept that this kind of exploitation may also be applied to humans who are weaker and less powerful. That would mean discriminating against members of our society who are too young, too old, too sick. Who would stand for that?” animal-ethics.org
The benefits of being vegan are in three fundamental concepts for the harmony of life on Earth: preservation of the dignity and life of all animal species, including humans, environmental protection and health.
How many lives can a vegan save in one year?
One vegan can save on average one animal per day and up to 582 animals per year. The author of this research is Harish Sethu, a professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, US, a PhD in electrical engineering. This estimate was published by the website Counting Animals.
To reach this estimate, Harish used data about the amount of animals who were killed for food in the United States and population size. With most aquatic species being killed, the result was somewhere between 371 and 582 animals yearly.
To achieve a more accurate number, he had to exclude vegetarians and vegans and divide the total number of killed animals exclusively between the meat-eating population.
However, this research’s conclusion is fairly conservative, given that it doesn’t account for animals killed by the egg and dairy industries, which could make the figure even higher. It’s important to emphasize that the aquatic animals who are “accidentally” killed by the fishing industry, thousands of them, also don’t factor into this data.
Still, vegans’ generous and compassionate ideals save hundreds of lives every year.
According to a report about land use and climate change from the IPCC, an international panel that assists the UN, the scientis Marta G. Rivera Ferre explains how chicken and pork consumption currently represents 77% of animals raised to feed the world, and 22% is beef.
Each of these species contributes to climate changes in a different way. The ruminantes emit methane gas with heating potencial 28 times bigger than CO2 and can stay in the atmosphere for up to ten years. Monogastric animals, which are no ruminant, emit nitrous oxide and CO2, which can stay in the atmosphere for up to 100 years.
To the UN for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases, much more than all of the public transportation exhausts in the world. Including its by-products, livestock accounts for at leat 32 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, that is, 51% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
Water resources, shallow or underground water available for all kinds of regional uses or water basins are also highly affected by livestock. Water consumption for animal agriculture varies between 33 and 75 trillion spent gallons annually. Only in the United States, agriculture is responsible for 80 to 90% of water consumption.
According to Michael F. Jacobson, to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, feed production for livestock consumes 56% of water in the United States.
With livestock, there is excessive water spending across all of the industrial spectrum, whether it is for the production of eggs, dairy and leather, but also for the production of meat itself. In a conservative estimate, it take more than 2 thousand gallons of water to produce 2 pounds of beef, but this figure can go up to 4 thousand gallons.
Animal consumption directly affects the environment. Water waste, deforestation and CO2 emissions.
What are the benefits of being vegan? In one year, one vegan can avoid the waste of:
401,504 gallons of water Deforestation of an area of 14,929 ft² 8,933 lbs of CO2 (cowspiracy.com/facts)
In a sociocultural and economic environment, with large scale publicity aimed towards influencing the consumption of products and, as consequence, diets, we grow up with the idea that we need animal products such as meat and milk to achieve good health and, many times, social status. However, a strictly vegetarian diet is filled with all the nutrients ouar bodies need and is scientifically proved to be effective in keeping the body healthy in any stage of a human being’s life.
There are many studies which report of the benefits of being vegan and following a plant based diet. This kind of diet tends to offer more fibers, antioxidants, as well as being even richer in potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E.
According to the American Heart Association, this type of diet is also effective at preventing cardiac diseases. A study was carried out by the association with 100 participants with pre-existing heart conditions to rate the performance of heart functions for patients with omnivorous and vegetarian diets. The vegetarian diet was shown to significantly reduce systemic inflammation and improved the lypidic profiles for the patients, while this wasn’t the case for those with an omnivore diet.
Among other benefits of being vegan is the potential to reduce risks for some types of cancer. Regularly eating vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer in 9 to 18%. Among the cancers that we can reduce the chances of risk, we have prostate cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer.
It can be observed that plant based living is not only healthy and diverse, but can also help is live better and longer.
Start a Vegan Diet on Earth Day! That’s the best thing you can do for your planet!
Today is the most important Earth Day in history. As the climate and biodiversity crises worsen across the world, we face a turning point for humanity: we either take action and fix the situation together, or continue causing the problems that brought us here.
So what can we do as individuals to help? Of course, there are many ways. You can switch your energy provider to a renewable supplier, stop buying fast fashion clothing, make sure you don’t have any investments in fossil fuels, or even buy an electric car. But there’s one thing we can all do that makes a big impact across the world, and it starts with our food.
Cutting out animal products from your diet makes an incredible impact. Here’s three reasons why (backed by science).
1. A vegan diet is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth
The largest ever scientific analysis in history (from the University of Oxford) revealed the terrible carbon and land footprint of animal agriculture. It explained how animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland globally. But that’s just the land use, the emissions are worse than previously thought.
The study, published in the Science (one of the world’s most respected scientific journals), showed how even the ‘lowest impact beef’ was still much more damaging to the atmosphere than any plant-based food.
2. A vegan diet requires much less land and frees up space for natural carbon capture (trees)
You can check out the abstract/summary below, but here’s a brief version and explanation we have prepared:
This study revealed the huge ‘carbon opportunity cost of keeping livestock’.
That means there is a huge amount of carbon from the atmosphere that land could draw down/capture (using trees/plants etc.) if it were not being used for animal farming/livestock production. It also means there is an ecological opportunity cost – for example: the woodlands, wetlands, wolves, wild herbivores and thriving ecosystems the land could support if it were rewilded and turned away from animal farming.
But how do we put this into simple terms so I can explain this point to my friends, family and colleagues?
Here’s our effort:
The research shows us that it is far better to use land for plants (e.g. trees, grass, crops) to draw down carbon from the atmosphere, rather than farming animals for meat/dairy etc.
The impact we can have by switching our food production to vegan diets is even larger than previously thought. The report from Nature explains how a shift to vegan diets could enable us to draw down over 500 gigatons of CO2e*… that’s an amazing 500 billion tons! This would give us an excellent chance of limiting global warming to 1.5℃. This might be the strongest argument of all!
3. Vegan diets are essential to protect biodiversity
A new report from British think tank Chatham House found that vegan diets are the best way to protect biodiversity around the world.
The report, titled Food System Impacts on Biodiversity Loss, highlights how animal agriculture/farming is a dangerous threat to most species currently at risk of extinction.
Clearing land to create pastures for farmed animals is the main cause of habitat loss across the world. Right now, the majority of all our crops are grown just to feed farmed animals to create meat (despite many people starving in the world).
The report says that a shift towards plant-based meats and dairy alternatives will certainly help the situation and help protect our biodiversity. Farming crops/plants/vegetables instead of animals takes much fewer resources, and saves a huge amount of land and water.
The report estimates that if the world switched to a vegan diet, over 75 percent of the world’s cropland could be repurposed. Much of that land can be restored to nature, and would provide habitat for wildlife (helping protect and restore biodiversity). You can read the full report here.
As you can see, from an environmental point of view, there are many excellent arguments in favor of a vegan diet for earth! Of course, there are clearly many other great reasons to leave animals off your plate (animal welfare, food resources, health etc.), but this one is very important.
So next time someone challenges veganism and asks you to explain it all, make sure you have this blog and those facts at the ready!
How can Veggly help you?
That said, we hope you don’t have to explain veganism all the time and you can find someone who shares your love of animals and our planet! As you know, that’s why Veggly exists!
To see some of our success stories and messages from our users who found love from their Veg-Matches, please see this page here.
And if you’re reading this, we encourage you to participate in this year’s Earth Day and make a positive impact in whatever way you can.
* CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) is a unit for measuring carbon footprints. CO2e is used to express the impact of each different greenhouse gas in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of global warming.
World’s number 1 dating app for vegans surveys American users to reveal: American Vegans are Backing Biden in the elections.
75% of American vegans are backing Biden and Harris
Only 6.5% back Trump and Pence
Support for a third party candidate among American vegans outstrips Trump, with 18.5% of the share
A new survey conducted by Veggly, the world’s leading vegan and vegetarian dating app, has revealed how American vegans overwhelmingly support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president when compared to Donald Trump and Mike Pence. The data shows how 75% of vegans in the US support Biden and Harris, and only 6.5% are backing Trump and Pence.
The data also shows how many vegans in the US back a third party option instead Trump, with almost a fifth (18.5%) selecting the option.
Possible reasons for these results include:
Trump’s policies regarding climate change and animal welfare, which have angered vegan and environmental campaigners in the four years he has been in charge.
Trump’s regulations and laws regarding animal cruelty. In 2018, Trump lifted a ban put in place by the Obama administration covering animal cruelty. The original ban, set in 2015, provided better care for factory farmed animals, ensuring that they were treated more humanely.
Commenting on the new data, Founder of Veggly, Alex Felipelli, said:
“Most vegans are pro-environment and want better protection for animals, so it’s no surprise the Trump administration has very little support from this community. It’s also interesting to see how nearly a fifth would choose a third party; it just goes to show how many people aren’t impressed with either Biden or Trump at the moment.”
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Veggly was created to help vegans, vegetarians, and aspiring vegans/vegetarians to find, match and chat to other like-minded people nearby. At present, Veggly is the only vegan/vegetarian dating app available on Android, iOS and desktop/web.