Veganism and its Consequences

Veganism+and+its+Consequences

Martin Atlanov, Journalist

Veganism is supposedly healthy to the planet, let’s debunk that theory today and explain why veganism isn’t the greatest alternative to a new diet. For example, let’s say that 10% of the US goes vegan. That would only decrease the greenhouse gas emissions by 0.26%! Let me explain why.

People say that cows take up a large amount of water to make beef or any other meat products. But that’s not actually true. 94% of a cow’s water comes from rain water, which falls onto the land that the cows graze on and they consume that alongside the natural growing grass. And we can’t forget about the fact that the cow will urinate some of that water back into the ground, re-hydrating the soil for more plants to grow.

And sure it may cost less water to grow rice instead of catering to livestock. But rice only has 1/5 of the protein that beef has, and not to mention that rice has basically no nutritional value. You might say that we’re wasting loads of food on livestock that can be fed to other people, but the issue there is that around 84% of livestock feed is inedible to humans. And the other 16% go into other mono gastric animals like chickens and pigs. Basically livestock are up-cycling the inedible grains for humans into edible food that is richer in nutrients. Livestock are also a big part of a huge ecosystem with crop agriculture, livestock give back by producing manure which is used for fertilizer. Us humans cannot do anything with corn husks, but we can turn it into livestock feed for a better use. And for every 100 lbs of human food created, around 37 lbs of human inedible by-products are made that can be consumed by livestock and cattle. 

Do cows really take up all our land? The short answer is no. If we didn’t have livestock taking up that space, 2/3 of our land would be wasted. 2/3 of our land is called Marginal land, meaning that crops cannot be grown there. The reasons could be; it’s too rocky, there’s too many hills, and the soil is too rough. There’s a lot of different reasons that the land could be unable to be used for agriculture. The only use for marginal land is to be used for livestock, because livestock can consume grass. And the other 1/3 is known as Arable land. Arable land is what we use for growing crops.

These are my reasons on why eating vegan isn’t necessarily saving the planet. Think twice before ditching meat.