Many of us are aware of the dire environmental problems that the planet (and all of its inhabitants) face today. Many organizations and individuals do their best to combat those problems, fighting climate change with initiatives such as: pushing for increased use of renewable energy, hybrid vehicles, recycling, and so on. But did you know that one of the best steps we can take can be found at the dinner table? It’s as easy as eating more plant-based food.
How Veganism Benefits the Environment
It’s widely known that animal agriculture produces a lot of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But how much exactly? The United Nations reported that livestock production causes “an even larger contribution” to climate change “than the transportation sector worldwide.” That is, it emits more GHG than all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined.
What’s more, animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation, and water consumption and pollution (it takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk!). A 2018 University of Oxford study found that, if everyone stopped eating meat and dairy products, global farmland use could be reduced by 75%. That’s the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined – and that would free up wild land lost to agriculture, a primary cause for mass wildlife extinction. As the study’s lead author states, “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.”
How Veganism Helps World Hunger
Eating plant-based food can also benefit one’s health when done right, and it will help solve world hunger! Did you know that we currently grow enough food to feed 10 billion people? That’s 2.4 billion more than the current total world population. But at least 50% of the grain is fed to livestock instead of people – and to produce 1 lb. of meat those animals may each eat upwards of 15 lbs. of feed.
Finally, as an intelligent species, we can survive and thrive without subjecting other species to the terrible life that is factory farming. (Find out more about factory farming, and more positive alternatives out there, in a recently-released documentary by Natalie Portman: Eating Animals).
Doing Our Part, One Meal at a Time
For all these reasons, CiTTA Partnership set a policy at our founding over six years ago to only purchase vegan food for our company meals. We do not, of course, ask employees to be vegans – someone’s personal dietary choice is totally her own. But as a company, we try to do our part to save the world, one vegan company meal at a time! After all, a person who eats primarily plant-based food saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 lbs. of grain, 30 sq. ft. of forested land, 20 lbs. CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life each day. Not to mention, she reduces her carbon footprint by up to 73%. Those are big numbers, and why we’re so happy when we see other companies make similar choices. Just this month, the global company WeWork announced its new policy to make company-hosted events free of red meat, pork, and poultry – potentially saving over 15 million animals by 2023!
There’s no doubt we can all make a huge impact, one plant-based dish at a time. And there are so many delicious vegan alternatives for every dish you can imagine these days. So, we encourage you to also try eating plant-based – even doing that one day a week would make you a world-saving hero!