Overview

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

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. Unfortunately it is a bit of a cultural blind spot.

Animal Agriculture’s massive Warming Effect

The life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals reared for food account for about half of all human-caused greenhouse gases (GHG).

Goodland and Anhang, World Resources Institute, 2009

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. 

Officially, according to the UN’s climate change body the IPCC, animal agriculture is responsible for around 15% of human caused emissions. But that’s only side of the coin, and probably not the whole of it. The other side is what happens when you stop animal agriculture: we free up land to farm forests.

Here are the main arguments for shifting to a plant based diet both individually and on the scale of human civilisation.

General inefficiency

Most livestock production is a process of using valuable food to produce much less food in terms of quantity and nutrition. At the scale of 60 billion land animals farmed yearly, this is a staggeringly inefficient net loss inefficiency.

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.

In all, livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of the planet.

Livestock’s Long Shadow, Executive Summary p.xxi

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.