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Facts and Figures

What if the whole world became vegetarian?

Chloe x - Monday, February 02, 2015


Recently SBS highlighted an article published by The article looked at a study that asked the question of what would happen to the planet if all the people adopted a vegetarian or vegan diet. The question was asked by because of the rapidly increasing population and thus the increased consumption of animal products. The consequences of this increased consumption on climate change, pollution and land use could be catastrophic.

The animal product industry is one of the top contributors to climate change, directly and indirectly contributing to roughly 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009 researchers from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency looked at three projections of greenhouse gas emissions. They were if people ate less meat, no meat or no animal products at all.  

The predictions showed that universal veganism would reduce agricultural-related carbon emissions by 17 percent, methane emissions by 24 percent and nitrous oxide emissions by 21 percent. Universal vegetarianism would result in similarly impressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The most impressive fact found from the study was that all this would be achieved at a much lower cost than carbon taxes and renewable energy technology.

The study wasn’t trying to look at a possible goal for the future because getting all people to become vegetarian or vegan would be impossible. The Researchers also didn’t take into account other socio-economic implications that might arise. The study was done primarily to look at how vegetarianism and veganism can contribute to more sustainable future for the environment.

For more check out the full SBS article at the link below:


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