1 Million human lives might be saved each year if people accept the vegetarian style of eating, shows a new study published by “Independent”
Cutting down on meat consumption worldwide would also protect the planet by cutting emissions by two thirds, and avoid over $1trillion in costs linked to climate change and healthcare, according to research published in by Oxford University.
Dr Marco Springmann, lead author of the study conducted at the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, highlighted that a person’s diet “greatly influences” their health and the global environment.
And that’s not all. If people adopt vegetarian diet the greenhouse gas emissions linked to food will drop up to incredible 63% the study shows.
This change in diet will also impact our pockets by increasing their thickness. Researchers found that changing how we currently eat would save between $700 to $1,000 billion each year in healthcare, unpaid informal care and lost working days worldwide.
“Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally and in most regions,” Dr Springmann said.
“At the same time the food system is also responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore a major driver of climate change.”
Nicolas Hewitt, Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University Environment Centre, said that the study confirms what his research and that of others has already shown.
“Consumer choices around food have significant impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. Eliminating meat from the diet can reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by about 35 per cent and changing from carbon-intensive beef and lamb to less carbon-intensive pork and chicken can reduce food-related carbon emissions by about 18 per cent.
Overall, changing to a vegan diet can reduce food-related emissions by about a quarter, which in the UK represents about 40 Mt of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions every year. This is equivalent to about half of the total CO2 emissions from the entire UK passenger car fleet.
If society is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then we should be trying to make savings in every area of our day-to-day activities, including in our diet.”
Researchers found that leading a vegan lifestyle would save 8.1 million lives by 2050, while vegetarianism could save 7.3 million. And simply following the minimum global dietary guidelines could save 5.1million deaths.
A simple change in diet can fix more than 70% of the world’s problems. It’s time to stop blaming and start acting.