Veganism and plant-based diets have become a trend worldwide in the last decade. The link between animal agriculture and the loss of our rainforests is more important than you might know.
Going vegan means you stop consuming any product that involves animals in its productive cycle (e.g. killing animals for food or using them for cosmetics testing). When you decide to become vegan, you are helping both the animals and the planet.
A vegan diet has a significantly lower carbon footprint and requires much less land use and water resources than a non-vegan diet. In particular, going vegan protects the forests and shows that you are against deforestation and land clearing for animal agriculture.
Animal agriculture continues to be the key driver of mass deforestation and loss of forest biodiversity.
Every time you eat a plant-based meal, you tackle climate change and reduce your environmental impact on the planet.
In this article, I will tell you five reasons why shifting to a vegan diet is the best environmental decision you can make.
Animal products consumption is the leading cause of deforestation worldwide
The first reason why you should start a vegan diet is deforestation.
Forest ecosystems are a critical component of the world’s biodiversity. More than half of the world’s forests are found in only five countries: the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China.
Livestock production is the primary cause of deforestation and natural habitat loss worldwide. This activity requires enough land for the animals to live in and the crops these animals eat.
Livestock production, including crops farming, accounts for three-quarters of all agricultural land surface on the planet. This makes meat production the single most considerable anthropogenic land-use activity.
Large-scale commercial agriculture for cattle ranching and the cultivation of soybeans for livestock feed accounted for more than 40 per cent of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2010.
Have you heard of forest fires in the Amazon?
According to different studies, over 75% of all deforested lands are now being used to grow livestock, pasture and feed crops (e.g. soybean). And most of the crops produced worldwide are used for animal feed.
For example, between 75 and 80% of all soy produced worldwide goes directly to these animals.
Suppose the trend of our meat consumption continues just as it is today. In that case, developing countries will need to expand their agricultural land base by 3 million km2 over the next 35 years to meet the world’s demand for animal products!