Vegan Meat Better for the Planet Than Zero-Emission Cars, Says New Study

It’s no secret that plant-based meat is better for animals, but a new study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG)—one of the world’s largest consulting firms—shows how dramatically plant-based proteins can positively impact our planet. The study found that investments in plant-based protein resulted in greater emissions cuts than other green investments.

In fact, BCG reports that every $1 invested in plant-based meat reduces seven times more emissions than $1 invested in green building, 11 times more than zero-emission cars, and three times more than some other popular climate-friendly investments.

Plant-based meat and dairy also deliver substantially lower emissions than their animal-based counterparts. Beef, for example, produces up to 30 times more emissions than tofu!

The Guardian highlights the report’s key predictions:

Alternatives make up 2% of meat, egg and dairy products sold, but will rise to 11% in 2035 on current growth trends. … This would reduce emissions by an amount almost equivalent to global aviation’s output.

As this study shows, the increasing popularity of plant-based meat and dairy has the potential to significantly lower our carbon footprint from food, which will help save our planet.

How Meat Impacts Our Planet

According to the United Nations, greenhouse gas emissions from raising farmed animals make up 14.5 percent of global human-induced emissions.

Our meat-heavy diets put a huge strain on natural resources. Raising animals for food accounts for 8 percent of all human water use and takes up 33 percent of the world’s cropland.

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Worse still, meat production also pollutes our land and water. Chicken farms and other animal-raising facilities generate tons of waste, which is commonly overapplied to nearby cropland as fertilizer. This leads to nutrient pollution that can destroy aquatic ecosystems and cause toxic algal blooms, which endanger humans and companion animals.

Fortunately, there are tons of delicious plant-based foods that are much kinder to the planet than meat, dairy, and eggs from animals. They pollute less and require less energy, water, and land. In fact, swapping animal products for tasty plant-based foods can cut your greenhouse gas emissions from food in half.

Take action for the planet by choosing more plant-based foods and encouraging others to do the same.