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Fight climate change by going vegetarian twice a week

Fight climate change by going vegetarian twice a week
© University of Warwick

We tend to relate the reduction of resource consumption with important changes in our lifestyle, and this is likely to be one of the reasons why reducing is often not very popular. However, some very small changes in our lifestyle can imply huge savings in terms of natural resources.

An example regards our alimentation choices. The promoters of vegetarian diets highlight how by going vegetarian it is possible to achieve huge savings in terms of land consumption, water consumption, and CO2 emissions. The debate is ongoing and it is very active. Although there are other ways of reducing emissions, such as driving and flying less, changing food habits will be easier for many.

The article from The Guardian ‘Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert’ is part of this debate and suggests that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars. The article thus shows how a very small change in the lifestyle can thus imply huge savings in terms of carbon emissions.

“The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.”

Talking point

  • Would you consider this approach if you knew the impact you’d have on emissions, water consumption, etc. would make a difference?

If you are interested in the topic and you want more information, there are some links below in the ‘See also” section for articles that present the topic from a more scientific perspective.

© University of Warwick
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