Becoming vegetarian might be just as good for the environment as not driving your car, according to a report from United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management. The report, which was released on Wednesday, states that “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”
The combination of high worldwide meat consumption and projected population growth The report also says: make the impact of animal products especially worrisome, making a serious shift in meat consumption especially urgent. “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”
Though the U.N. promotes things like Meatless Monday to reduce carbon emissions, it seems that skipping meat just once or twice a week isn’t going to do the trick. It’s tough to imagine a life without ice cream, cheese, and burgers, but the U.N.’s report makes us think twice about our diet.
Would you be willing to cut out meat and dairy to help the environment? Tell us what you think in the comments section, below.