Yes, a person’s diet can definitely affect the environment. Each type of food has an ecological footpring in some way. There are many factors that go into how much someone’s diet affects the earth, including whether they eat partially or completely organic. Also, if you eat local, you vastly lower your ecological footprint. While some meats are free range and organic, most meats have a large ecological footprint due to the amounts of water and grain needed for livestock. Generally, vegans have a smaller impact than vegetarians; and vegetarians have a smaller impact than carnivores. Though there are factors (such as eating organic and/or local) that affect these generalizations.
Absolutely, yes. Although, not necessarily directly. Eating vegetarian meals is by far the best way to help the environment, because raising livestock for meat is an energy intensive practice. There is a 90 percent loss in energy each time you go down the food chain. Plants capture 10 percent of the energy from the sun, animals capture about 10 percent of the energy from plants, and then if an animal consumers another animals meat it goes down another 10 percent. So in effect it is 10 times better for the environment to each a meal of oats and fruit than it is to eat something that was once a living animal that had to be sustained off of oats in the first place… it’s like: Why not cut out the middle man? I do eat meat, but only in moderation! (I have cut back significantly on the number of meals I eat which contain meat products, and if money were no option I would never eat anything that wasn’t farmed organically and in a sustainable manner (WHICH EXCLUDES FACTORY FARMED MEATS!)… if everyone in america were to boycot factory farmed meat products (first our indrustry would suffer!) but then the environment would improve as we would not be polluting as much as we feed way more chickens or cows or pigs or whatever than we need to! We have choices people, let’s start making better ones!
On a large scale, yes. Based on a few individuals, no. If whole countries were to adopt more plant-based diets, the planet as a whole could definitely benefit. When you consider that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, it seems rather wasteful to continue on the meat-eating path most people have become accustomed. Additionally, it takes tons and tons of water to raise animals to the point of slaughter- water we could be using or drinking ourselves. Livestock is also largely responsible for the high levels of methane in the air today. Not only would a plant-based diet benefit our bodies, it would greatly impact the overall health of our planet.
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