Eating Vegan Not All It's Cracked up to Be From an Environmental Standpoint
The moral high ground of food just shifted a little bit.
Using biophysical simulation models to compare 10 eating patterns,researchers found
that eating fewer animal products will increase the number of people that can be supported by existing farmland. But as it turns out, eliminating animal products altogether isn’t the best way to maximize sustainable land use. Their work was published in Elementa...
The researchers considered the vegan diet, two vegetarian diets (one that includes dairy, the other dairy and eggs), four omnivorous diets (with varying degrees of vegetarian influence), one low in fats and sugars, and one akin to the modern American dietary pattern.
Based on their models, the vegan diet would feed fewer people than two of the vegetarian and two of the four omnivorous diets studied.
When applied to an entire global population, the vegan diet wastes available land that could otherwise feed more people.
And then there’s the issue of philosophy. A lot of vegans aren’t in the business of avoiding animal products for sustainability reasons, some would prefer to just leave animal husbandry out of food altogether.