D H
Aug 31, 2019 · Last update 23 days ago.

Can Veganism save the world?

As the world heads closer and closer toward environmental catastrophe accelerated by climate change, a vegan diet is being put forward more and more often as a means of dealing with this problem. The argument is usually based upon the massive amount of greenhouses gasses released in the process of livestock agriculture. But is curing climate change really that simple, could a Vegan world be a more climatically stable one?
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A capitalist vegan world would be another disaster
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Veganism could help, but not save the planet
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No, veganism is not a nutritionally sound diet
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Yes, could solve multiple problems
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Over population
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Veganism will not solve problems, merely change them
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Yes - a massive decrease in carbon foot print
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A capitalist vegan world would be another disaster

Veganism is not that environmentally friendly as many people seem to think, with soil degradation, water usage issues, and even food air-miles factoring into a distinct environmental demand, and capitalism would fail to reign in that demand on its own. Water used to grow popular vegan alternatives to meat and diary would hasten catastrophic water shortages in a capitalist supply and demand market system, as the increased demand would render some popular foods unsustainable, but capitalism doesn't recognise sustainability. The water demands of cocoa, avocado, almonds and walnuts, to name a few, are huge and would not be sustainable if demands rapidly increased. Veganism requires a rethink of our whole economic model, and systemic change would be needed before a vegan society could exist.

bettermeetsreality.com/the-potential-negative-effects-of-agriculture-on-the-environment bbc.com/future/article/20200211-why-the-vegan-diet-is-not-always-green independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/veganism-environment-veganuary-friendly-food-diet-damage-hodmedods-protein-crops-jack-monroe-a8177541.html

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D H
Apr 22
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Veganism could help, but not save the planet

While, yes veganism could reduce climate change, at the same time it is not enough to mitigate climate change and should not be the first step, the issue of the other contributors to climate change are much larger and much more pressing. Less than 10% of greenhouse gas is caused by agriculture, with livestock and manure only counting for 5.1%, the same amount is produced by heating residential homes, wouldn’t building insulation be a safer first step before unknown dietary changes? Industrial changes should be leading the way in the battle against climate change, blaming consumers sets a dangerous precedent and lets the very worst offenders, and the ones that could easily make the biggest changes, get away without scrutiny. Veganism could be a healthy part of a suite of changes to address the climate crisis but cannot change the world on its own.

skepticalscience.com/how-much-meat-contribute-to-gw.html csis.org/analysis/oil-and-gas-industry-engagement-climate-change climate.nasa.gov/effects

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D H
Apr 22
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No, veganism is not a nutritionally sound diet

There are many problems with most overly restrictive diets and veganism is no exception. Vegan diets can be low in iron which can cause anaemia, low in omega–3 fatty acids which can cause depression, soy proteins can cause hormone disruption, legume proteins can cause gut problems, and a vitamin B12 deficiency can have many health consequences and can even lead to death, on top of many other issues. A vegan population may make sense with extensive supplementation, but this could raise other sustainability issues. Vegetarian societies in a world where we could educate the planet on how to eat a well rounded diet would put less of a strain on the environment than is currently the case and could be healthier, but we currently cannot even educate the planet to the point of literacy. Forcing societies to be vegan would just move that strain from the environment to human health, and could potentially be very dangerous.

flickr.com/photos/taedc/32066760788 youtube.com/watch?v=1BUL78hbkLA fooddive.com/news/veganism-may-not-save-the-world-but-healthier-animals-could/570426 cleaneatingkitchen.com/vegan-diet-dangers-health nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion/21planck.html

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D H
Apr 22
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Yes, could solve multiple problems

Moving forward the climate change is just one of many risks that humanity needs to find a solution for, and many public health crises also have their foundation in what we eat, as indeed climate change, and therefore these issues overlap. Many of the worst and most deadly and widespread health conditions are cause by bad nutrition, diet or lifestyle and many studies are finding most illnesses have a foundation of a bad diet. Vegetarians and especially vegans have a healthier diet, consuming less calories, less fat, and on average weighing less; lowering their risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many other chronic conditions. However simply banning meat would not work, maybe just stricter regulations for animals living standards, only organic livestock farming, causing higher prices for meat. But a cultural change is also needed, education and awareness campaigns so people can go back to only having meat occasionally as a treat, this would more closely mimic how people would have lived generations ago and even in the natural world as hunter gatherers. In this way veganism is just part of the puzzle, just a step in the right direction, or maybe two steps....

livestrong.com/article/291408-list-of-diseases-caused-by-poor-nutrition nationalpost.com/news/world/to-reduce-global-warming-people-need-to-eat-less-meat-un-report time.com/5648082/un-climate-report-less-meat mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/meatless-meals/art-20048193

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D H
Apr 22
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Over population

A vegan society based on the modern agribusiness model would be unsustainable, as the extra demand in plant-based food would over-burden soils and lead to soil erosion and farmland loss, a sustainable vegan society would need to be an organic one with healthy soils. Veganism alone then is not the answer. Livestock farming itself needs to be utilised to organise a full sustainable modern farming and would be needed even in a arable vegan dream society, as animals' dung, urine and even the way they graze, replenishes soil nutrition and reduces soil erosion. However the reduced output from this type of organic farming could not feed the 8 billion people on this massively overpopulated planet, this would also be unsustainable. While Veganism can help, and is definitely a step in the right direction, the answer to the climate crisis needs to include human populations that live in a completely sustainable balance with their environment, and the main elephant in the room that must be addressed in this delicate equation is over population.

biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/climate theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/veganism-intensively-farmed-meat-dairy-soya-maize bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/scientists-call-for-population-control-in-mass-climate-alarm

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D H
Apr 22
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Veganism will not solve problems, merely change them

Veganism may reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, but so will feeding seaweed to cows, veganism isn’t merely positive either, taken to the extreme a whole society going vegan will lead to economic turmoil and the death of, or harm to, the agriculture industry as we know it. Vegan “activitists” are currently causing problems to farmers after being radicalised about the diet, but if a government take the same approach a country’s economy would be restricted, domesticated animal populations would be in danger and farming would be completely dependent on plants. In the event of crop failure restricting food production would make outbreaks of disease more catastrophic as the population will be more dependent of a less genetically varied diet. Farming variety should be encouraged not restricted so that potential disasters are not so worrisome, with disease outbreaks affecting the world at large the last thing we should be doing is seeking to damage any form of agriculture when it contributes such a smaller fraction to climate change and is a long held tradition all over the world. Instead we should seek to reform agriculture, make it more humane and reduce emissions, but the big reforms that will really tackle climate change will be from to the biggest contributors, not agriculture, veganism will not solve these big problems merely change them.

neoskosmos.com/en/134439/vegan-other-side youtube.com/watch?v=rfLBvU8sSWw

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D H
Mar 1, 2020
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Yes - a massive decrease in carbon foot print

Ultimately the only way that climate change mitigation can move forward is if we all drastically reduce our carbon footprints as much as possible. One of the easiest changes to make in our daily lives would be a transition away from animal products which contribute around 75-80% of total emissions made by the agricultural industry worldwide. Not to mention the suffering of animals will subside, as animals endure some of the worst conditions and massive levels of distress under common industrial farming practices. The Earth’s carrying capacity, that is how many human beings the plant can support, may have already been surpassed, but scientist Edward O. Wilson famously estimated that number to be 10 billion, if everyone followed a vegetarian diet. If this were a planet of vegans this number would be even higher, and in the short term, out carbon footprints much smaller.

climatenexus.org/climate-issues/food/animal-agricultures-impact-on-climate-change geoawesomeness.com/earths-capacity-many-people-can-support

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D H
Sep 2, 2019
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