Limited Meat Consumption More Environmentally Friendly Than Veganism: New Study
© Photo : PixabayMeat
© Photo : Pixabay
Vegans and meat-lovers have repeatedly locked horns over what humans are “supposed” to eat in order to keep fit.
Veganism сauses more harm to the environment than limited meat consumption, a new study has revealed.
In the survey published in a social source journal, scientists from the University of Georgia found that many of soybean products that vegans use to get enough protein, such as tofu and tempeh, are largely imported from India, where their production adds to widespread deforestation and habitat loss.
10 May 2022, 01:43 GMT
The study pointed out that the pollution and environmental impact from “transporting soybeans hundreds of thousands of miles to the US is its own environmental catastrophe.”
According to the researchers, the same situation pertains to palm oil, which is often used as a vegan substitute for butter or lard and which is mostly imported from Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Thailand.
The survey underscored that local ecosystems in these countries “have been devastated by deforestation and loss of biodiversity as millions of hectares of forests are razed for palm oil production.”
With many believing that reducing meat consumption should help tackle climate change, the research claims that the focus should be placed on how the meat industry currently operates rather than on the animals themselves.
Author of the study Amy Trauge argued that "livestock is super important to both the sustainability of a farm system and to climate change mitigation." As an example, she mentioned a hypothetical pig that can produce over 150 pounds (68kg) of meat and 20 pounds (9kg) of bacon.
21 January 2022, 17:59 GMT
When the time comes to harvest the animal, a small-scale processing plant that avoids plastics and employs well-paid staff could be used to keep the supply chain short and transparent, according to Trauge.
She said that "what is left in the wake of that pig's life is soil restoration, small-business health, human health and a short supply chain that is traceable."
"There's definitely an argument for reducing the amount of meat that we eat, but we can get a good deal of our protein needs met with a small amount of animal products like meat or eggs,” the researcher added.