Is vegetarianism really harmful to the environment?

Is vegetarianism really harmful to the environment?

What If The World Went Vegetarian?

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answers (5)

Answer 1
January, 2021

In my opinion, people, in principle, by their existence harm the surrounding nature. Think wider friends. Better than Woody Harrelson as Rasta Cole in True Detective, no one has yet formulated the simplest truth. IMHO.

Answer 2
January, 2021

Let's calculate the nutrition of a good, straight vegetarian to the roots. In order not to invent anything, we take as a basis the diet of vegetarians-athletes who conquered Elbrus with only 1550 calories of plant energy.

The daily diet of each participant consisted of:

250 g unrefined nuts

250 g of dried fruit in the form of compote,

150 g of fresh carrots,

150 g of lemons

80 g of honey.

This set of products was sometimes supplemented with rosehip infusion and birch bud tea.

Multiply grams per day by 365. It's easy. We get:

20 kg of unpeeled nuts

91 kg of dried fruits

54 kg of carrots

54 kg of lemons

29 kg of honey.

And now, opening Google and entering the keywords "yield of this and that per hectare," per year we will need to feed one vegetarian athlete


almonds 0.0125 ha

walnuts 0.006 ha

hazelnuts 0.005 ha

pine nut 0.01 ha

Total for nuts 0.0335 ha

apples 0.015 ha

apricots 0.01 ha

plums 0.01875 ha

carrots 0.0009 ha

lemon 0.0027 ha

honey 0.36 ha

Birch buds and rosehip broth did not count, to hell with them.

Total - to feed one vegetarian per year we need only 0.44335 hectares. Let's take into account that some of these lands are necessarily in warm countries, since apricots, lemon and some types of nuts cannot be grown in our strip. But we generously forget about it. This figure is calculated with a calorie content of 1550 kcal per day. But you will excuse me, of course, with such a diet, a vegetarian will not last long, this is a rather tough unloading-dietary calorie content. Taking into account the data of food hygiene, with the lightest, in terms of energy expenditure, type of labor (mental, of course, what did you think?), Energy consumption for men is 2550-2800 kcal, for women 2200-2400 kcal. Once again, we will generously give some indulgence to vegetarians and will not even remember about hard physical labor. We just take the average of this - 2500 kcal per day.

That is, with normal calorie content, you need to make a small amendment to our hectares: 0.44335 multiplied by 1.61. It will be 0.715 hectares.

Now let's take care of the gluttonous cow.

Open the veterinarian's handbook and read that the cow eats a day

40-50 kg of grass

3 kg of hay

3.5 kg of compound feed

1.2 kg of molasses

Open Google and read the ratio by weight of hay and grass, approximate compound feed composition. In terms of grass, all these cakes, root crops, hay, peelings, haylage, silage, tarts, etc., make up (add for the sake of fidelity) 70 kg of grass per day. If you want, read the cow's ration and count it yourself. Total - 25550 kg of grass per year. How much meat does a cow give? We minimize the meat yield so that we are not accused of postscripting. ;) For a year, a calf with an average weight of 250 kg grows on this good. We forget about all the offal and bones, we minimize the outputThere is even more meat - from one calf we have 125 kg of meat (Google is waiting for you, check it yourself). But the cow is not only meat, but also milk. Since it is spherical and in a vacuum, let me just consider the average milk yield, we have already sufficiently minimized the yield of meat. A cow gives an average of 4000 kg of milk per year.

Here are the goodies. How much crop area does our cow need? We open (there could be a Google advertisement) file on leguminous fodder, run through different plants and see that the average yield of this hypothetical grass in a vacuum is 50 tons per hectare. Whoever sees the numbers less, read about corn, cereals, root crops (the mass of greenery, not seeds, the cow eats this whole thing).

In total, a cow needs 0.58 hectares per year to feed. And the cow does not need to take these hectares in the south, where nuts, lemon and apricots grow, between us she also eats what the bees extract honey from, but we will nobly forget that too).

Hello everyone, who read this far. There is not much left!

And finally, let's get down to the disgusting meat-eating corpse-eater. As a basis, in another burst of nobility, let's take a rather fatty (walking like that, 2900 kcal!) Diet for a teenager-boy 14-17 years old. Why a teenager? And because I was lazy to look for an adult and healthy, even though there would be less. Let it be in abundance, it's okay. We are such meat-eaters, we love to devour something.

So, let's turn our attention to Table 14. Multiply grams by 365, we get kilograms. Along the way, we clarify that from 1 kg of grain we get 2 kg of bread, from 1 hectare of sugar beet we get 7000 kg of sugar, from 100 kg of seeds we get 40 kg of vegetable oil, and from 22 kg of milk - 1 kg of butter. Then again we look at the yield of all plant products in the diet, take into account the yield of pure substance from raw materials and get:

grain - 0.0514 hectares

sugar - 0.0042 hectares

vegetable oil - 0.008 hectares

potatoes - 0.006 hectares

carrot - 0.0019 hectares

fruits (the same as in the menu of vegetarians) 0.010 ha

Total - 0.08165 ha

Now about the cow. (I added fish and eggs to the meat in the form of another 100 grams per day, to the maximum).

Per year you need

495 kg of milk (this is 0.12 of one spherical cow per year)

109.5 kg of meat (this is 0.87 of one spherical cows per year)

That is, in the end we need 1 cow per year. Which itself feeds on 0.58 hectares per year. We will even omit one more fact that a person eats grain, and the rest of the plant is a cow, that a person uses seeds for oil, and a cow eats cake, stems and leaves of sunflower, etc. etc.). That is, we will skip that part of these hectares is actually a meat-eater and a cow use together.

In total, for a meat-eater together with his unfortunate cow, we need 0.58 plus 0.08165 = 0.66 hectares in year. Against 0.715 hectares per vegetarian.

So, gentlemen, vegetarians, eat what you want and how you want, but the cause of the ecological disaster will not be meat eaters, but you. Well, ifand you want to save the planet, then buy the cellulose enzyme, process the whole plant and eat it whole too: leaves, and stems, and cake, and silage, and cleaning. Good luck. Save the planet.

Answer 3
January, 2021

I do not deny, but I do not confirm this statement either. It seems to me that maybe I'm wrong if you follow this logic (the number of calories needed in relation to the amount of salad or meat) that even if the farms use tons of feed, gasoline for transportation, etc., it would still be less harmful to the environment, if 9 billion people would become vegetarians ... People will not eat rapeseed or straw ... and what the area of ​​fields should be to feed such a horde :) It is logical to assume that animals used for agricultural needs are much less than 9 billion and they eat what a person could not eat (otherwise we would have a farm through our house) ... and at this stage of the development of civilization they are the most optimal source of energy. Perhaps humanity will find a compromise, reaching a higher technological development in the future

Answer 4
January, 2021

Do not forget that raising slaughter animals requires millions of tons of vegetation, cereals, grasses, and so on. Which drains the soil very much. The number of cows, pigs, chickens, etc. inadequately huge compared to their place in nature.

Answer 5
January, 2021

You are probably referring to the recently published (and already many times criticized) study that lettuce is more harmful to the environment than bacon in calories (CMU News). In general, this study is true - if you imagine a person who uses green lettuce as a source of calories (i.e. eats a few kg per day !!), then he really does harm the environment more than a person who covers those 1000 calories a few slices of bacon.

This article also says that the dairy and fish industries are very harmful to the environment (dairy produces greenhouse gases, fish pollutes and devastates the oceans), so the man who replaced meat with fish and milk, most likely, it also does not bring much benefit to nature.

If we talk about those who eat only plant foods, then everything depends on the specific diet. Raw foodists or adherents of RawTill4 (raw food for breakfast and lunch) eat a huge amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that require a lot of water, grow far from everywhere (i.e., are often imported) also do not improve the situation. But I assure you, this is an absolute minority among vegans and vegetarians, and most people who are on such diets sooner or later give up on them.

Finally, let's move on to the most normal and common plant foods such as root vegetables, legumes, mushrooms and cereals with the inclusion of small amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. If such food forms the basis of a vegetarian diet (in most cases it is - it is the cheapest and most affordable), then his diet is less damaging to the environment than a diet that includes animal products. (The carbon foodprint of 5 diets compared)

I would like to highlight a few more aspects. Firstly, if you want to reduce environmental damage, that is, there are many ways - to replace beef with pork, chicken or turkey, to reduce the amount of animal food (anyway, eating animal products for breakfast, lunch and dinner is not very good for the health of blood vessels and heart + the risk of diabetes increases, and if you eat red meat and all sorts of meat products, then the risk of developing certain types of cancer (Carcinogenicity of red and processed meat) increases. You can also buy domestic (!), grow yourself, less often throw away food, try not to buy semi-finished products and etc.

Secondly, unfortunately, no one promised us that what is good for humans will be good for the planet. Again, in terms of calories, sugar and various types of fat cause minimal harm the environment, but this does not mean that you need to switch to a sugar and fat diet :)

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