Veganuary is an increasingly popular movement that takes place every year in January, and encourages people to try a vegan diet for the whole month. There are many different reasons why people choose to change their diet to eliminate all animal products, including ethical and health-related reasons.
However, there is also a very strong case to be made that you should consider a vegan diet if you care about the environment and would like to decrease your ecological footprint. Many recent articles highlight the high environmental costs of producing animal products, for example “Why eating less meat is the best thing you can do for the planet in 2019” and “Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert”.
In addition to the carbon emissions, raising cattle is also linked to deforestation and large scale habitat degradation. For instance, the incredibly biodiverse Cerrado landscape in Brazil is rapidly disappearing due to soy and cattle production. The soy is used not only for human consumption but also to a large degree to produce feed for the cattle. See this article from Mongabay for more information on this.
Looking to the oceans, overfishing has also decimated fish populations creating not only ecological problems and putting species at risk of extinction, but also impacting vulnerable coastal communities that rely on fish for their subsistence. For example, check out this article on why “Overfishing is as big a threat to humanity as it is to our oceans”.
Going vegan is therefore a way to help reduce the negative large-scale impact that we are having on our planet, and one of the most concrete things you can do to help wildlife conservation every single time you sit down for a meal. Think about it – every time you go to the supermarket, you are effectively voting for the kinds of foods you want to see there.
In recent years the number of people following vegetarian and vegan diets has grows enormously, and as a result, there are now more plant-based alternatives in supermarkets than ever before. Your choice to buy these products instead of animal products also means supermarkets sell less animal products, which drives down demand which in turn will drive down supply.
"We are quite literally gambling with the future of our planet - for the sake of HAMBUrgers"