Combating Climate Change with Veganism

Most people have gotten on board with global warming being a real phenomenon (although the onset of the polar vortex brought about some debates and doubts). But with the acknowledgement of the problem, there’s been a lot of discussion about how to address it. One issue that scientists often point to is a person’s “carbon footprint” (aka the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are indirectly or directly caused by one’s lifestyle). Pollution is often quoted as a major issue and drivers have been encouraged to carpool, take public transit, or bike. But car pollution isn’t the only factor in a person’s carbon footprint. What foods we eat play a major role in that as well.

Vegans choose to eat plant-based and animal-free foods for many reasons. Some people go vegan because it’s a cruelty-free way to live. Others choose it because of food allergies/intolerances or health reasons. Others might consider becoming vegan because it is better for the environment. One scientific study conducted by Oxford University indicated that the carbon footprint of meat eaters is double that of vegetarians or vegans. The reason for this disparity is due to the amount of energy it takes to raise livestock. Pollution is a smaller problem than meat consumption.

So you actually reduce your carbon footprint by eating vegan. Luckily, there are so many great plant-based food options and meat and dairy substitutions. A seitan Sloppy Joe sounds pretty good right about now…