About a third of the world’s crops are used for feeding livestock, which is in turn used to feed us. Ultimately, this just makes us use more land to get less food. In fact, it was estimated that if we produced the same amount of food without the use of animals, the extra land we would save would be almost the size of India.
To make room for agriculture, a lot of deforestation takes place. This destroys the habitat of many animals and it stops a lot of CO2 from being absorbed from the atmosphere. This consequently makes our contribution to global warming much larger. On top of this, livestock produces a lot of methane, which just furthers our impact. It turns out that livestock contributes more to global warming than transport.
The animals which we farm also contribute largely to nitrogen pollution, soil erosion and consequently water pollution. As well as this, they account for a large portion of our water use. Clearly, the world would greatly benefit if we ate less meat.
So why do so many people discourage vegetarianism?
And is there any justification for us eating so much meat?