How is veganism is better for the planet?


How is veganism is better for the planet?

In: 3

It takes a lot less in the way of resources (and produces less greenhouse gas) to grow crops for human consumption than to grow animal feed and raise livestock for meat. Not only do you lose energy on every rung of the food chain (think of how much gets excreted or exhaled as waste while those animals are growing) but it also tends to create a lot of pollutants.

I’m not personally a vegan but agree with the logic of someone who is for environmental purposes.

I don’t know if this fully plays out, but one of the reoccurring arguments is based on how much water, feed, and land is needed for say the beef, pork, or chicken industry. There’s also issues regarding animal waste and sheer volume of it to produce a considerable increase in methane. HOWEVER, I don’t know if there is a systematic study that covers how much harm from animal industry versus plant industry. Crops also require a lot of water and space, plus have less calories. Obviously crops are needed to feed an animal, but this is offset slightly on how young they are when slaughtered. I think chickens are 45 days old and pigs 5-6 months. You can easily feed them certain low value grains over some nutrient dense vegetables that require more. IIRC rice requires a lot of water say compared to corn/maize. At the end of the day, the tallies have to leave clean water and enough calories for humans to survive.

Supposedly cotton, vegan right?, is the biggest user of pesticides (don’t eat) and huge user of water. Does this mean leather or plastics would be better? It starts to get to all sorts of specifics that are sort of hidden/under-studied. In the end, the animal industry does cause a noticeable increase in pollution and waste while also using a lot of resources.

Broadly speaking, it takes something like 10 units of energy/resources at one level of the food chain to produce 1 unit of resources at the next up. This would mean 10 units of plants to produce 1 unit of herbivore, then 10 units of herbivore for 1 unit of primary predator, and so on. This is because each level of the food chain needs energy and materials just to live, only 1/10th of its consumption goes to the final product, i.e. meat, eggs, milk, etc.

Basically, this means eating plants instead of using those plants to raise livestock and eating those or their product is more resource efficient as you’re not losing calories and water just keeping the animals alive, and they’re not producing CO2 and methane to exacerbate climate change.

Why am I vegan? It takes 53 gallons of water to make one egg, that’s why!

Plants produce 100% biomass from photosynthesis. Every trophic level (level on the food chain) absorbs 10% of that biomass and wastes 90% of it.

Plants (100%) > rabbits (10%) > foxes > (1%) > eagles (0.1%)… Every step on the food chain drops biomass absobtion by 90%.

For humans we are omnivores, if we grow plants to eat them, we gain 10% of it’s biomass. If we grow plants to allow livestock to eat them in order to eat the livestock, we absorb 1% biomass.

The rest of the explanation has to do with amounts needed to grow to feed animals or humans. Feed a pig 10 corns to get it’s weight would theoretically be the equivalent of humans eating 1 corn. Corn and other crops take space, they take water, they take fertilizers, they require machinery.