Switch the meat for beans: going vegan could save the planet

Reducing your meat and dairy consumption is one of the best ways to reduce your negative impact on the environment. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about ways to lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but limiting the number of times you go for that steak or bolognaise means that less land is cleared for cultivation.

The farming industry is a multi-billion pound one and creates lots of jobs, but there are adverse effects of being an omnivore. Every time a tree is cut down to make space for cows, pigs and other livestock, there are less trees to absorb carbon dioxide.

Our obsession with meat has led to the loss of wild areas around the globe and rapid extinction of wildlife. Beans, peas and lentils are cheap to buy, require less land for growing and provide protein that is essential to our diet.

The average Bangladeshi citizen consumes just 4 kg of meat per year, while an American goes through a whopping 120.2 kilos each year.

Dominic McDermot from the National Farmers Union explains “I don’t think there will ever be a time when farmers jobs are on the line, because milk and meat is always in demand and people are stubborn when it comes to cutting out certain foods in their diet”.

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