Veganism won’t save the world
While vegans are touting the benefits of a meatless diet to reverse the deadly effects of climate change, researchers at the University of Georgia suggest that veganism may not save the planet.
Researchers at the university in Athens, Ga., “found that a diet of mostly plants with local and humanely raised meat is likely the most ethical way to eat if we want to save the environment and protect human rights.”
“There’s nothing sustainable about this plant-based model,” said Amy Trauger, author of the study and a professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “It is really just a lot of greenwashing. You really don’t have to look very far to see how problematic this narrative is.”
The study found that soybean products like tofu and tempeh are made from soybeans that aren’t grown here in the United States. The majority of these soybeans are grown in India where crop production leads to deforestation and habitat loss. Not to mention the pollution caused shipping the soybeans from India to the U.S.
And for those people who like to use palm oil it comes from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Nigeria where deforestation is also a huge problem.
“On top of its environmental impact, the palm oil industry has been the subject of numerous allegations of human rights violations. Child labor, rampant sexual abuse and rape, and exposure to hazardous pesticides without proper protective equipment aren’t uncommon,” according to the University of Georgia.
“People prioritize the lives of livestock and domesticated farm animals over the lives of the people who grow palm oil or soybeans,” Trauger said. “Corporations love to market to people that eating this way will make a difference in the world, but it won’t.”
Trauger goes on to say that livestock are important for “the sustainability of a farm system and to climate change mitigation.”
The researchers make a lot of good points and we need to make sure that we echo these issues when we talk to people who think a vegetarian diet is so great.