How Going Vegetarian Can Help Mother Nature

There are many reasons to live a vegetarian lifestyle. More often than not, if you ask two vegetarians why they follow their diet, you’ll get two different answers. For some, becoming a vegetarian is due to ethics surrounding the meat industry, while others have a digestive ailment that doesn’t let them eat meat.

But no matter the personal reasons for becoming a vegetarian, there is one thing for sure: living this lifestyle is especially beneficial for the environment. It’s easy to load up on fruits and veggies, look into alternative sources of protein, and stock up on your vitamins from a supplement manufacturer, and you’ll be good to go.

Plus, Mother Nature will thank you for cutting meat, poultry, and fish out of your life, and here’s why.

It decreases water use

When you consume an animal’s meat, you are consuming all the water that animal needed to grow. Animals consume an incredible amount of water — for example, one pound of beef requires 20,000 pounds of water. Multiply this number by how much meat you consume on a regular basis, and it’s surprising how much water goes into your weekly dinners.

When you cut meat out of your diet, you’re not just eliminating the water in that meat. You’re actually helping communities thrive, as the farming industry uses a whopping 70 percent of all water available to humans. And when consumers increase the need for meat, there will be less water available for crop production and communities to use.

So, the less meat you consume, the more water there will be for other important purposes.

It decreases the Earth’s temperature

Humans are eating more meat than ever before, and this is causing detrimental problems for our planet. Compared to just 30 years ago, humans are eating twice as much meat, poultry, and fish, and the Earth isn’t able to accommodate this change. Back in 2006, the United Nations calculated how much the meat industry affects our planet, and the answer isn’t pretty.

The combined climate change emissions for the global meat industry accounted to a staggering 18 percent, which is more than all automobiles, planes, and other means of transportation combined. Climate change is directly related to the increase of the Earth’s temperature, and a vegetarian diet equates to 2.5 percent less carbon emissions than a meat-heavy diet.

It decreases rainforest deforestation

Because the meat industry is booming, farmers have had to turn to the world’s rainforests for grazing land. As a result, millions of trees have been cut down and the forests are shrinking at an alarming rate.

It increases our clean waterways

The meat industry is notorious for dumping all of its waste — including but not limited to fertilizer, sewage, and nitrogen compounds — into the world’s oceans, because there isn’t anywhere else to put it.

All this waste causes an increase in algae production, which makes it almost impossible for wildlife to live and thrive. Known as dead zones, these areas of the ocean are cropping up everywhere and are detrimental to sea life and those living on the coast.

It goes without saying that being a vegetarian can help out Mother Nature in more ways than one. The meat industry is a global behemoth that can’t be sustained for much longer, and living a veggie lifestyle is an easy way to help prevent these crises from getting worse.

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