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How does eating plant-based food help the environment?

Updated: Jun 19

Charleen from VF

Author: Charleen Hawra

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Date of Publication: 17/06/2023

Eating plant-based food can have several positive impacts on the environment. Below are listed 5 several reasons in which it can help:

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1. Greenhouse gas emissions

Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, the

greenhouse gases nitrous oxide and methane are produced in the process. These have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. So, shifting to a plant-based diet can reduce the demand for livestock and the associated emissions.

2. Conservation of water resources

Livestock farming requires significant amounts of water, such as for watering, feed production and processing. Specifically, far more water is required in the production of animal products than in the cultivation of plant foods. Therefore, plant-based alternatives conserve water resources and reduce the impact on freshwater ecosystems.

3. Conservation of soil and biodiversity

Large areas are needed for the application and cultivation of fodder for the animals. This often results in deforestation of habitats and loss of biodiversity. Thus the consumption of plant foods helps to preserve natural habitats and protect endangered species.


4. Reduction of environmental pollution

Livestock farming leads to various forms of environmental pollution. For example, chemical fertilizer is often used for livestock farming. Pollution of water, soil and air occurs. This poses a problem for the ecosystem and human health. So, by eating plant-based foods, we can reduce the pollution associated with intensive animal agriculture.

5. Energy efficiency

High energy input is used in the production of animal foods. In particular, energy is used for animal husbandry, feed production, transportation and processing. As a result, energy efficiency is improved in the decision to eat plant products and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Of course, it is important to note that a plant-based diet alone is not the only solution to environmental problems. However, it can be an effective individual choice that can lead to a more sustainable food system and have a great impact on our environment.

Reference List

How a plant-based diet can impact our environment

Food system: the case for plant-based food

Vegan diet helps environmental sustainability

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