Read the Another Vegan blog
Follow AnotherVegan on Twitter

Why become vegan? (four big reasons)

3. Protect the environment

Animal food production places a great strain on the environment. Recycling your empty bean cans helps, but becoming vegan is the ultimate way to safeguard our planet.

  • The farming of animals produces more global warming gases - methane, CO2 and nitrous oxide - than all the world’s transport combined. The gases are produced by the animals themselves and the machines and systems used throughout their processing
  • Animal industries are the second biggest source at 18% total, compared to 13.5% from transport
  • 18 million tonnes of methane is generated by animal manure each year
  • 80 million tonnes of animal manure is sprayed on the land as fertiliser in the UK each year, posing an environmental threat as run-off can enter local waterways
  • Global warming gasses mean an increase in global temperature leading to the melting of the polar ice caps, which means rising sea levels
  • Fossil fuel use by animal industries is six to twenty times greater than that in providing a planet-based diet
  • Farm animals are a major cause of deforestation, with cattle ranching and the production of cattle feed being the biggest reasons
  • 60% of deforestation is attributed to agricultural expansion
  • Clearing rainforests releases massive amounts of stored CO2
  • 1.2 million hectares of Amazon rainforest were planted with soya for animal feed between 2004 and 2005
  • 70% of cleared rainforest is assigned to cattle grazing, with the remaining 30% growing soya for animal feed
  • Cleared rainforest soil loses its fertility, meaning that further trees are cleared to get access to fresh, fertile soil
  • Not only do animal foods mean the clearing of ancient trees, but the destruction of the animals and organisms that rely on this environment

Thanks to Viva!’s ‘Planet on a plate’ publication for many of the above facts. Several other sources also informed this section. Get in touch if you'd like any references.