What the Veg

This site has no new information on it, but links out to new science and news as it pops up, summarising the main points.

Here’s why this is important.

Apparently now we are down to about a decade to avoid the worst of climate change, although it’s too late to experience some of it. Changing how we eat is an achievable opportunity to buy us more time to change the harder things.

Animal Agriculture’s massive Warming Effect

Take a car off the road and that car doesn’t start benefiting the climate, it just stops damaging it. There’s only one side to that coin. 

But animal agriculture is a regular old two sided coin: the emissions it causes; and the benefits of stopping it. Stop farming livestock, and we free up land to farm forests instead. 

But usually, both sides of the coin are not considered when discussing climate change. The official IPCC figure is around 15%. There are a couple of key reasons that the IPCC estimate is not appropriate to the current situation. 

On the one side of the coin you have the emissions: greenhouse gasses including the largest human source of methane, but also a massive carbon emitter from breathing – the sheer number of farmed animals, 60 billion each year, mean that is enough to impact the climate.

Methane (the burps)

Methane from livestock is a powerful but short lived GHG. Although it’s most warming in the first 5 years of it’s existence before it degrades to carbon, the IPCC has averaged it’s warming effect over a 100 year period. However, if we average it instead over a decade or two, it’s warming effect is drastic and the result of removing it looks far more positive. Check out this explainer by Geoff Russel, an oldie but a goodie.

Livestock’s monopoly on the Earth’s land surface

Using land

It’s never been easier to eat plant-based

Luckily, increasing numbers of vegans over the last decades have paved the way for you, increasing the availability of vegan food and dropping the price. It’s never been easier to be vegan.