By going vegan, we can:
- combat climate change
- save water
- prevent land degradation and habitat loss.
Which contributes more to global warming: eating meat or driving a car?
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s report Livestock’s Long Shadow the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. That’s more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined.
A 2014 University of Oxford study showed that greenhouse gas emissions for a meat-based diet are approximately twice as high as those for vegans and about 50% higher than for vegetarians.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. A huge amount of fresh water is used to produce food, the most water-intensive being animal products – meat, dairy and eggs. It takes up to 50,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef, compared to 2500 litres to produce 1 kilogram of white rice, and much less for most fruit and vegetables.
In Australia, the dairy industry is the second largest single user of irrigation water (just edged out by the cotton industry). It is also the biggest single user of irrigated land. In a report sponsored by the dairy industry itself, they estimate that the average dairy farm uses 800 litres of fresh water per litre of milk produced – that’s 200 litres of water to make just one cup of milk.
Land degradation and habitat loss
A report by the CSIRO and the University of Sydney found that animal industries are the cause of 92% of all land degradation in Australia. Animal industries and animal grazing result in clearing of forests and bushland, damage to precious soils, erosion, spreading of weeds, and loss of habitat causing the demise of wildlife species.
3 Canberra Vegan: http://canberravegan.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/milking-dry-murray-darling.html
4 Eating up the world: http://www.vnv.org.au/site/files/articles/eatinguptheworldv3.pdf