Home Guide How could veganism change the world? | The Economist

How could veganism change the world? | The Economist

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Interest in vegan food and its associated health benefits has been booming across the rich world. A global retreat from meat could have a far-reaching environmental impact.

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By 2050 the world’s population could approach 10 billion – and around 60% more food could be needed to feed everyone. The environmental impacts of the food system are daunting its responsible for about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and uses about 70% of all freshwater resources, and it occupies about 40% of the Earth’s land surface.

Food rated emissions could increase to 50 percent by 2050 and fill up the total emissions budget that we have in order to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

Interest in vegan food has been booming across the rich world. A major study has put the diet to the test – analyzing an imagined scenario in which the world goes vegan by 2050. If everybody went vegan by 2050 we estimated that food-related greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 3/4.

Cows are the biggest emission contributors. Bugs in their digestive system produce methane and deforestation for their pasture releases carbon dioxide – these gases warm the planet. If cows were a country, they’d be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter.

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29 Comments

  1. wordgrrl71

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Oh GOD, not the Economist too? Veganism is a starvation plan with super high carbs. So bad for people. Good luck! Save for dentures, too!

    Reply

  2. Lady of the Craft

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose

    Reply

  3. ANTONIO MANUEL M. FRAGOSO

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Yes, from Portugal!👍🇵🇹🇵🇹🇵🇹

    Reply

  4. Ila Jung

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    i can leave everything and go vegan except milk and honey… oh i used to love chicken but since 10 years never had it, but these things are hard to give up and i want to 🙁

    Reply

  5. tommy G

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I wish I was a vegan

    Reply

  6. D Lyu

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Sorry meat eaters and dairy consumers… cows are worse for the environment than fucking everything.

    Reply

  7. Ben T

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Are we just not going to talk about the size of this dudes nose? 0:30

    Reply

  8. santiago102235

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    What an incredible change of direction can the human race make if this generation becomes predominantly vegan. The time for CHANGE is now! Do it for you, do it for the human race, do it for life itself.

    Reply

  9. Imaginews Report

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Eating anything with a face…any creature that had a mother…is morally reprehensible. Further, humans don't need to consume the breast milk of another creature!

    Reply

  10. gtk

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    "A lot of food is wasted as feed for animals." seriously…!!

    So not only people become vegan but also cats and dogs?

    Reply

  11. Mishko Frydrysek

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    <<333

    Reply

  12. Sliegrom B

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Of course this is simply stating that people should adopt a poverty diet as we become over populated while simultaneously having major degredation of our cropland. The problem isn't just out methods of meat production. It is the whole damn aggricultural system which mines the soil of resources to feed our ever increasing population farm beyond the carrying capacity of the land by displacing and eliminating the species which naturally inhabit those habitats to make room for our crops. And now these twisted people want to go further by eliminating the very animals and cows that have allied themselves with man by producing meat in a factory? Likely saving of food cost, but severely increasing the energy requirement to produce meat as well as increasing the costs to the consumer.

    I love how they completely ignore the fact that meat responsibly produced in a non monoculture environment is both significantly healthier and has less total environmental impact. Hell just switching to tree hay from traditional grass hay can result in up to 5x the total amount of fodder produced per acre while simultaneously ramping up total carbon sequestration by keeping the small trees in the state of greatest total sequestration (initially new growth). Or how about considering meat production from the viewpoint of an animal that isn't literally the most inefficient meat animal? What is the efficiency for rabbits or guinea pigs? Both are highly efficient. What if you feed them from tree hay? The efficiency can actually be quite remarkable. Now when you consider that the meat is essentially condensed nutrition and due to that fact on a calorie per calorie basis meat is much more efficient to store and ship. Where are these numbers in their cost benefit analysis or wholesale support of veganism?

    Forget the fact that instead of annual corn products and annual grass hay, animals like cows can be fed of things fields of Alfalfa which is a perrenial plant, has 6x deeper roots, and once established sequesters carbon at a greater rate than a rainforest acre per acre. I wonder how much just converting to this as a feed source would offset the methane production of ruminants.

    No mention that 70% of the red meat eaten is goat not beef which produces only half the emissions per pound compared to beef.

    The reality is that veganism supports monoculture to a great degree. Just consider the very few sources of protein available to them. In order to feed the majority of the people depending on just a few crops necessitates the very mono culture highly industrialized agricultural system which is degrading the land to such an extent that agricultural scientist predict that we only have 60 years before the world topsoil is depleted.

    Forget the fact that there a multitude of methods we could employ that would make the production of meat very significantly more efficient. Or the fact that just switching from beef to goat would in and of itself would significantly reduce your environmental impact. There are many ways to significantly improve the current system. Vegans would rather see the system eliminated which would just place the majority of our food animals on the endangered species list like most of their relatives in their natural environment. Or hell if we are keeping them for food, then they likely would only survive as pets or not at all. The whole damn vegan movement is just not that well thought out as it only considers a single possible solution and makes an enemy of eating meat by attacking the worst possible way it can be produced. Ridiculous.

    Or what about the fact that using animal poop is vastly superior to artificial fertilizer for increase plant growth, vitamin content, and the health of the microorganisms living in the soil and mycorrhizal fungus which precipitates plant nutritional uptake. I consistent use of artificial fertilizer is well known to cause depleted magnesium levels in food produced on that land. Now consider that being deficient in magnesium is attributed to increase risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and other diseases all of which have increasing rates of ocurrence in populations dependent upon monoculture which uses significant amounts of artificial fertilizer.

    The issue is not meat. The issue is that our entire food system is based around providing the most inexpensive good possible to people to maximize the percent of their income they can spend on consumer products or in servicing their debt. The reality is that meat CAN be produced in a responsible manner with close to a net zero environmental impact. We CAN use agricultural practices which replenish and enhance the land. We have enough knowledge that we could be highly successful in the endeavour. The problem is we would have to move away from the modern industrialized society and return to a more agrarian society while simultaneously making the responsible choice to limit our population growth. I am not talking about stopping people from having kids intentionally, but come on they have a completely removeable vasectomy procedure that is performed through injecting a block with a needle and is neither invasive or dangerous and again completely removable. Would not the implementation of such be wise for our youth entering into sexual activity in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Should this not be offer to all countries even if the bill has to be footed by those economically advantaged. If for no other reason than to ensure the topsoil they depend on remains healthy and viable?

    This shit is merely propaganda which fails to consider all options and tries to reduce the issue to something as simple as eating meat or not. It just isn't.

    If you really want to make changes in the world start promoting one of the many solutions which doesn't require people to give up meat which many people feel is a reduction in their quality of life. Start supporting a solution which doesn't just shift the problems of today's generation onto my daughter and my grandchildren's generation when the problem will be vastly exasperated and more difficult to solve.

    And if you just don't want to hurt the cute cuddly creatures, I completely understand and it is hard. I currently raise my own meat animals to remove myself as much as I can from industrial farming and animal torture. And it is hard to look those animals in the eye when I mist kill them, but I can make sure they have a happy life. They are my friends and when I have to watch them die it forces me to live a life worthy of their sacrifice. It pushes me to be a better version of myself. For those of you who somehow believe killing animals is wrong just remember we have proven plants can think, and learn, have memories , and scream out in pain when damaged even if we can't hear it. All life is valuable and one version is not inherently superior to the other and predators are a valuable in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. An ecological role in which we have eliminated or decimated almost every competitor species and now unless we fullfil the role of a predator the ecosystem around us becomes unhealthy. Now if you personally don't want to hurt cute cuddly animals that is more than fine and I wholeheartedly support you doing you. Just don't parade your own personal misgivings and preferences as some empirical good or miracle cure for the problems facing humanity because they are not. And sure as hell don't try to convince people to make laws and regulations of so you can have men with guns come and do violence against people who do not believe as you do. Don't try to fine people and steal their money if they don't believe the same as you, don't try to create regulations to lock them in jail for believing differently than you. That's just twisted sicko shit.

    Reply

  13. Shilpa Suresh

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    This is my first time going vegan. I’m doing it during the Tamil month of Marghazhi which is kind of like the traditional Tamil version of Veganuary and I have to say that meat and dairy doesn’t taste so good anymore after a month of veganism. Just came here to say that the ‘taste of meat’ is not all it’s cracked up to be. You can train yourself to like plants!

    Reply

  14. H A

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    More vegan mean less meat production which mean less money and which mean genocide of breeding`s animals to trash…

    Reply

  15. kiy shi

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    India jamica and u.s Virginia new Zealand australia canada hong kong england this all Land of HYPOCRISY u.s militarism cartel terrorist organization government dollar hatch funding with oil is bullshit SLAVERY economic theory of SLAVES monkey. Democracy in western union and u.s or canada hong kong india jamica and australia england new zealand or even Switzerland is bullshit.   Band u.s dollar or made by u.s  slaves. STUPID americans thinking dropping BOOMS all over earth is not solution. Your master is STUPID english how can you be smart. Never apply for citizen to this places you can not be come non RACIST thy teach you how to be Racist you only be in Box THEORY. u.s citizen should band to travel around the world. never buy house in those places thy are useing immigrants as SLAVES.

    Reply

  16. Michael Thompson

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    For now people can simply eat more chicken than beef and that would go a LONG way towards helping everyone in pretty much every way. The powerful decide how the common man acts anyway so we eat a lot of meat because they benefit from it. If your looking for things that you personally can do to scale back the influence of the powerful, and at the same time increase your own, start with these 7 things:
    1) Save at LEAST 10% of all you earn. If you are not saving at least that amount you are no better then a slave living for what your master gives you to eat. (Get yourself a free PDF copy of “The Richest Man in Babylon”: http://horizonspeakers.com/wp-content/uploads/ebooks/the-richest-man-in-babylon.pdf Easiest book you’ll ever read on personal finance and is taught in parable so enjoyable to read as well.)
    2) Keep your money in physical form. Either in Gold, Silver or, more pragmatically, physical currency (Remember in the most resent financial panics in the US (2008), Cyprus (2012), Greece (2015), etc. people were trying to get physical cash, not Gold or Silver.). If you must use the banking system only use Credit Unions or Savings and Loans. Keep only as much currency in it as you need for expenses over the course of a couple of weeks or a month tops (Business owners will need more because of tax and logistical reasons.).
    3) If you are a wage slave paying down a lot of debt talk to an attorney about bankruptcy. You are doing your patriotic duty by not repaying banks. Fractional reserve banking is fraud so don’t lose a single nights sleep if you don’t repay another cent of it! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFDe5kUUyT0&list=PLE88E9ICdipidHkTehs1VbFzgwrq1jkUJ&index=4 )
    4) When possible use physical cash when you purchase things. This helps by a) making it hard for the powerful to profile you and add you to their metadata. b) allows those so inclined to reduce the power of government by being “tax neutral”. c) supports the poor by making merchants obligated to accept cash through your free market choice to use currency, as opposed to governments tyrannically passing laws forcing merchants to accept it (https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-starbucks-cashless-plans-could-hurt-poor-unbanked-2018-1).
    5) Try keeping your patronage away from large entities, i.e. don't use Google use DuckDuckGo.com or some other small search engine that does not have massive power and also tries not to keep personal search information. As I always say, " Whenever you centralize power it always helps the powerful." And yes I realize the irony of saying this on a Google owned platform. 🙂
    6) Vote 3rd party, preferably one that pays lip service to freedom and liberty. Your vote doesn't really count anyway so you might as well make the powerful pay more for the privilege of owning you by adding the number of parties that they have to bribe (Remember action 5 above.)!
    7) Copy and paste this list to any future posts that you make on Youtube, or anywhere else for that matter. The only thing better then you doing these things is getting OTHERS to do them as well.
    You can search the internet for other actions that you can take and if you have any good ones feel free to let me know. The first two are hands down the best an individual can do (Least effort and most effective.).

    Reply

  17. eskimoeason

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    With sense, it's unrealistic to encourage individuals to become vegans, perhaps, a vegetarian lifestyle would be more suitable plus the newly developed manmade meat industry which largely reduces the impact on the earth due to the large consumption of meats.

    Reply

  18. lvlaple4Ever

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Don’t scroll down, vegan bots have invaded this comment section.

    Reply

  19. Eve Vendetta Isu

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    If we dont make the change for 2050 WE ARE GOING TO DIE ALL HUMAN DEAD

    Reply

  20. moses Irfan

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Go vegan and die.

    Reply

  21. Slammin Sam

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I see a future where every intelligent person adopts a plant based diet.

    Reply

  22. lilli

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I'm all about going vegan but my parents are not willing to understand how it will not affect my diet negatively, even having showed them evidence

    Reply

  23. Kelly Garrison

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Excellent video ! I’ve been vegan for almost 2 years and it has changed every aspect of my life . Stronger , faster , think clearer , better sleep , better sex. Everything. Go vegan !

    Reply

  24. Adi Tds

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    HAH, Changes the "world". Do you mean USA or those other biggest meat consumer in the world? for quite sometime now that i've heard the talk of how veganism can change/make the world better. Now my irritation are in its peak position. Think about those in under/developing countries, for obvious example in african country. You want them to go vegan?? Better yet, why not just make the whole world only eat insects? that way, we can kill so much birds with one freaking stone. Eating farm pests, house pests, etc. The real "problem" here is the over consuming and hazadious meat producers in the country like usa and the like. I dunno about first world problem like meat lover or meat hater vegan, just having enough to eat for us and around us are luxury enough. By the way in case anyone curious, this is the opinion of a person living in a country that eat less meat (top 20 from bottom that is). So before you spout nonsense about "WORLD" going vegan, why don't you engrave the meaning of "control/consideration" on those meat lover's brain in the top countries that eat most meat on earth and cause more emissions as well.

    Reply

  25. joe farley

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I still think we need to have some meat, but just ration it.

    Reply

  26. Abdul Akram

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Vegenism is not the answer…! Thanos's click is the real answer…!!!

    Reply

  27. Martin Colding

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I will NEVER stop eating meat! stop pushing your stupid and disgusting food on my way of life and mind your own damn business.

    Reply

  28. daenerys targaryen

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Don't blame cows

    Reply

  29. just blue

    January 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I say more tax on meat! ;]]

    Reply

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