Going vegan has become increasingly popular in recent years. People are avoiding eating animal products such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Many vegan diet proponents have questioned if the diet is genuinely healthy for our bodies and the world in general.
Many of them questioned whether eating a vegan diet helps the environment and reduces one’s carbon impact.
Now, a new Oxford study has demonstrated that the vegan diet is substantially better for the environment, and the data backs it up.
Oxford scientists conducted the research, which was published in the journal ‘Nature Food’. They polled 55,000 UK residents who took part in the study for more than a year. They recorded what they ate and drank on a daily basis, and were divided into six groups: vegans, vegetarians, fish eaters, and low to high frequency meat eaters.
This information was then combined with another data set providing information on the environmental impact of each food.
Meat and dairy were found to have a substantially greater environmental impact in terms of land utilisation, fertiliser consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, the study discovered that vegans have only 30% of the environmental impact of meat eaters.
Another crucial finding of the study by Oxford was that simply eating less meat or going vegetarian can also help in reducing the environmental impact that we have. It is not absolutely necessary to go fully vegan, as even low-meat diets had only 70% of the impact across most measures in the study.