WATER USE
Agriculture consumes more water than any other major global industry, accounting for 70% of global water use. It takes about 460 gallons to make one quarter-pound beef patty—that’s the equivalent of taking 23 showers. [7]

DEFORESTATION
The Amazon rainforest, one of our world’s greatest natural resources, houses over 10% of the biodiversity on earth with countless species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Since 1970, the vast majority of the deforestation in the Amazon has been due to cattle ranching. [8]

SPECIES EXTINCTION
Animal agribusiness already occupies about 40% of Earth’s landmass and accounts for 75% of global deforestation. The rapid destruction is causing species to disappear, negatively impacting the biodiversity of native ecosystems and furthering our path into the 6th mass extinction of all species on Earth. [9]

LAND USE
If everyone shifted to a plant-based diet we would reduce global land use for agriculture by 75%. This large reduction of agricultural land use would be possible thanks to a reduction in land used for grazing and a smaller need for land to grow crops. [1]


POLLUTION
A study from Oxford University identified going vegan as the “single biggest way” we can reduce our carbon footprint, shrinking it up to 73%. [2]

SOIL

DEGRADATION
With over-cultivation, which minimizes the space of the land that is not tilled, soil fertility is further degraded as there is no time to replenish nutrients. Soil degradation and loss leads to reduced soil fertility and degraded land.
[3]

ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Meat requires a lot of processing before it is suitable for human consumption, and meat processing requires a lot of energy. It takes about 31.5 kWh of energy to produce one pound of beef—a little under the amount of energy your fridge uses to run for a whole month. [4]

FARTS + BURPS
Manure and gastroenteric releases (farts + burps) account for roughly 32% of human-caused methane emissions. [5]

LOSS OF

MARINE LIFE
“Dead zones” are the agricultural consequences where excess nutrients enter a waterway. Extra nitrogen and phosphorous encourage algae growth which results in algal blooms. As the algae dies, bacteria begin to decompose the algae. Much of the dissolved oxygen in the water gets used up in this process, causing drops in oxygen or hypoxic conditions. This is bad news for anything living in the area. [6]

WE'RE SWITCHING THINGS UP FOR THIS SPREAD IN HONOR OF ALL THINGS MAMA EARTH... AND YEP, VEGANISM IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THEM.

BECAUSE THIS ISSUE IS FOCUSED ON ENVIRONMENTALISM SO ARE THE REASONS ABOVE. ON THE NEXT PAGE, I MAKE MY ARGUMENT FOR ANIMALS, BUT PLEASE KNOW THIS IS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE AS WELL. HUMANS ARE OPPRESSED VIA ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, CONTINUOUS EXPOSURE TO VIOLENCE, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, AND LACK OF WORKERS’ RIGHTS IN BIG AG. DECOLONIZING THE FOOD SYSTEM (BOTH CARNIVOROUS + WHITE VEGANISM) IS A FORM OF RESISTANCE. [10, 11]

WAYS TO TRY + GO VEGAN

I'm not going to rewrite the script on vegan tricks or hacks or guides or whatever. Amazing folks have already done that and some of them are listed to your right »

Instead... I'll share my vegan story with you. Everyone's is different. There are the people who went vegan overnight (kudos to them), and then there are some of us who transitioned a bit slower.  

At the time, I was dating a guy who was getting his PhD in agriculture. One day, he said to me, "I'm surprised you're not vegetarian." A pretty legitimate observation, since all my office mates were vegetarian. Not to mention, I tend to like all other animals far more than human animals.

I thought maybe I could try it out by seeing if I could make my lunches vegan. If I could make food for work vegan, any other meal at home would be easier. It was a great tactic, because I didn't feel pressured to change overnight and learned a lot along the way. That Thanksgiving I went vegan plus honey and eggs (back off, vegans, I know that's not vegan—but it's a fast way to explain it). No meat, fish, or dairy. One year later I was reading Alicia Silverstone's book,
The Kind Diet, and finally allowed the information on eggs to sink in. That was when I went entirely vegan and never looked back.

Honestly, I think it's far easier to go vegan for the animals, because there's a life being affected by your decisions. I've seen people eat plant-based for the environment or their health, and I'm happy they're doing it. It still helps in all the other causes, but often those folks go back to their old ways. I could never imagine flipping that systemically taught switch back on that detaches me from another soul who has no say in their life. The truth is, there's no such thing as humane slaughter... The fear these animals experience watching and/or listening to their friends being slaughtered and not wanting to be next is real. How can killing someone be humane if they don't want to die? It's not. It's murder.