It’s no secret that the world’s human population is exploding. With our numbers set to increase to 9.6 billion by 2050, researchers are working to determine how we’re going to produce enough food, without further destroying forests to clear more land for agriculture.
As animal agriculture is already the number one cause of deforestation worldwide, can we really afford to continue this rate of intensive animal farming and consumption? The research indicates we cannot.
Researchers at the Institute of Social Ecology at Alpen-Adra University in Vienna have identified diet as being the key to both preserving the environment and meeting our food needs as a population.
Creating and analysing 500 different food-supply scenarios – all with the goal of causing no further deforestation – the researchers found that those in which humans consumed a diet high in plant foods were much more feasible than those which featured meat and other animal-derived foods.
In fact, they discovered that if the whole world went vegan, 100 per cent of the food-supply scenarios would be possible.
Global vegetarianism allowed for a 94 per cent success rate, whereas only two-thirds of scenarios would be possible if the average diet remained the same as today.
If the whole world were to adopt the meat-heavy diet most common in the current Western world, results showed that the situation would be even more dire. A tiny 15 per cent of food-supply scenarios would then be possible.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Karl-Heinz Erb said the following:
[I]f we have a not so meat-rich diet, the options are much greater because we can avoid deforestation and at the same time we can also avoid high-intensity production levels.
We already know that eating vegan is the best way to spare animals the cruelty involved in being bred, intensively farmed and killed for food.
This new research gives us yet another reason to eat compassionately: the future of our planet and the generations that will call it home.
Please, try vegan today.