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Want to Do Your Part to Tackle Climate Change? Go Vegan

Want to Do Your Part to Tackle Climate Change? Go Vegan

veggiesCan we eat our way out of climate change? That question has come to the forefront again with the Monday release of yet more research connecting global dietary patterns and global warming. While no one’s arguing diet alone can stop the world from warming, there’s now more evidence that changing the way we eat could have a big impact.

Building on similar groundbreaking studies published during the past couple years, scientists at Oxford University tackled a big question: If the whole world adopted a healthier diet, could that significantly combat global warming? 

Even though the agricultural sector accounts for a substantial share of our collective greenhouse gas emissions—almost 15 percent worldwide—it’s long been more or less ignored when it comes to international climate negotiations, including the landmark climate conference in Paris at the end of last year. Yet with the international community finally starting to take serious action to cut emissions from power plants and transportation, the total share of emissions from agriculture is only expected to rise—so much so that experts say it could essentially cancel out the cuts in other sectors.

The biggest culprit? Livestock, particularly cattle. As past research has shown, raising beef generates between nine and 27 times the amount of global warming pollution that producing an equivalent number of calories growing things like beans, nuts, and vegetables does. As just about everyone knows by now, red meat consumption has been linked to a host of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

The upshot? The less meat the world eats, the better it is for our collective health, the health of our climate, and the global economy. read more at takepart.com