How much land could return to nature if we all went vegan?
Talk about reversing climate change! Huge immediate potential for negative carbon, regenerative:
“David Attenborough has just asked everyone to go more plant based on Planet Earth III”
Attenborough: “if we shift away from eating meat and dairy and move towards a plant based diet then the sun’s energy goes directly in to growing our food.
And because that is so much more efficient we could still produce enough to feed us, but do so using just a quarter of the land.
This could free up the area the size of the United States, China, EU and Australia—combined.
Space that could be given back to nature.”
A great comment if you’re feeling intimidated, defensive:
“What’s important here is to take steps that you can do. A full diet change is a massive lifestyle commitment, and most people have a lot of other personal worries (financial, career, social and so on) as well. It’s a staggering statistic that if all 8 billion of us went plant-based, we’d reduce agricultural land use by 75%. But equally, if we all reduced our animal consumption by just half, we’d see around 37.5% reduction in land use. Which is still a huge gain for nature. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the destination so much so that you fail to take the small steps. It all adds up!”
Don’t believe us? The conservative Economist agrees:
Most of us environmentalists are happy to point our fingers at others. But not change, ourselves.
“Buying a new SUV: awful!”
“An even more harmful purchase like meat? ‘…but corporations!'”
Two apt comments:
“Yes. Cattle doesn’t only directly produce methane, it requires vast amount of forests to be cleared for producing food for the livestock, transportation thereof to the farm, transportation of the livestock to the slaughter house, the distribution centers, the stores. Which needs to be kept cool at all times. It’s way more than a cowfart.”
“Re: ‘it requires vast amount of forests to be cleared for producing food for the livestock’
And even when it doesn’t, it potentially prevents vast areas of forests from regenerating or being replanted (or any other natural habitat).
I write this because in Scotland I often hear people say “well there’s no deforestation for meat here”…..yeah no shit Hamish maybe that’s because we have unacceptably low forest cover because they’ve already been cleared. We really need to increase it but all the land is occupied by Sheep, Cows and Deer.”
A good discussion from an anti-consumerist sub on Reddit:
“For all of those here trying to make out your excuses for continuing to eat animals: Animal agriculture is the leading cause of carbon emissions and waste for 99.9%+ of people. Yes the ultra rich are responsible for a disproportionate amount, but you can make a huge change in your own percentage whilst killing far less animals. Lose the whataboutism and focus on doing the thing which makes the biggest difference to your impact – eating plants, not animals.”
“Use of fossil fuels is the leading cause of carbon emission. Agriculture is about 20-30% which is a number we can lower for sure. But it’s not the leading cause.”
“And what do you reckon a massive amount of that fossil fuel energy is used for?”
“Planes, trains and automobiles. Plastic production. Energy production. Logistics like shipping.
Do you honestly think cows and their production utilize a majority of fossil fuel consumption?”
“At last estimate, agriculture was responsible for 53% of fossil fuel use. The vast majority of that is animal rearing, and the crops grown to feed them (80% of crops). This doesn’t take into account the greenhouse gases they produce, or the carbon released by destroying natural habitat. The biggest plastic polluter by far is the fishing industry. A huge amount of logistics is the animal products, animals themselves, their food and all the extra farming equipment needed to produce 4x the crops needed to feed humans directly.
All of this is easily researchable, so how about you go educate yourself rather than trying to find reasons to carry on killing things to eat. You’re on anticonsumption for a reason yes? Then actually go do it.”
One more amazing comment:
Simplified outline of what could be a natural progression favoring the sustainable growth of plant-based lifestyles:
Subsidies for Community-Based Agriculture:
The government could provide direct subsidies to farmers who transition from traditional animal agriculture to plant-based agriculture. This could include financial support for purchasing new equipment, crop diversification, and sustainable farming practices.
2. Tax Incentives for Alternative Food Startups:
To encourage the growth of vegan food businesses, the government could offer tax incentives for companies that produce and sell plant-based products. This could include tax breaks for research and development of plant-based alternatives, as well as reduced corporate taxes for businesses that meet certain criteria related to sustainability and environmental impact.
3. Consumer Education and Awareness Campaigns:
Government (or Corporate)-funded public awareness campaigns could be used to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet, including its positive environmental impact. These campaigns could provide information on the health benefits of plant-based eating, as well as tips for transitioning to a meatless diet.
4. R&D Grants for Plant-Based Food Innovation:
Research and development grants could be made available to food scientists and researchers working on developing new plant-based food products and alternatives. These grants could support efforts to improve the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of plant-based foods, making them more appealing to a wider audience.
5. Subsidized Plant-Based School Meal Programs:
The government could allocate funds to subsidize plant-based meal options in schools and other public institutions. This could help normalize plant-based eating for younger generations and make it more accessible for families with limited resources.
6. Environmental Abatements for Plant-Based Food Producers:
Companies that demonstrate a commitment to reducing their environmental impact through sustainable production methods and supply chain practices could be eligible for environmental abatements. These could include reduced fees for environmental permits and certifications, as well as priority access to government procurement programs.
TL;DR – Probably an unrealistic meat-pie in the sky nothing-burger, with a side of word salad.
PS: 7. Just end animal agriculture subsidies—this saves money!