High steaks: The chance of veganism impacting the environment

Veganism and the environment are two of the most controversial and highest trending topics of 2019. For many, these emotive subjects - dietary and lifestyle choices and the wellbeing of the planet - are intricately linked.

The debates for and against adopting a vegan diet are heated on both sides, as more and more people are reducing their meat and dairy intake, with a 600% increase of veganism in the U.S. alone between 2014 and 2017. But what about the stats and numbers behind the buzzwords and bluster? Check out our informative infographic below for a breakdown of the facts surrounding veganism and its positive impact on the environment.

Click play to find out something you probably didn't know

Scroll down to find out more

Impact 1

Hot streak: global warming & pollution

Impact 2

Water waste: H2O supplies

Impact 3

Meat in the middle: food waste

Impact 4

Against the house: effects on land use

Expert opinion

What the experts say...

Torben Lonne

Torben Lonne, editor-in-chief at DIVEIN.com, an online magazine focused on scuba diving, travel and how we can make a positive impact on the environment.

One of the biggest issues with intensive animal farms, also known as CAFOs, is that they account for over 50% of man-made greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the runoff from livestock farms causes near-irreversible water pollution through a process called eutrophication. The water becomes overloaded with nutrients, leading to an unnatural increase in marine plant life such as algae, unbalancing the natural eco-system and causing the loss of aquatic fish and wildlife.

As a professional diver, I have witnessed these changes first-hand, in many corners of the world. What's scary is that these environmental changes are happening much faster than most people would like to believe, and as meat-production ramps up to feed our increasing global population, the outlook is rather apocalyptic.

In my opinion, change must happen immediately if we have any hope of preserving the marine biodiversity of our planet.


Bottom line: what's the verdict?

With The Economist declaring 2019 'the year of the vegan', the U.S. dairy industry taking some heavy hits, and big chains and corporations such as Burger King and Tyson Foods now dabbling in the meat-free market, the rise of veganism looks set to continue.

As the world's population continues to grow and the struggle for basic resources, such as food and water, as well as space, intensifies across the globe, the argument for a diet that requires less grain, land and water is certainly a valid one.

However, despite the headlines surrounding an apparent vegan boom, only six per cent of the U.S.'s population identify as vegans, so expecting the entire nation to ditch their steaks just yet seems unlikely. Yet, as our infographic illustrates above, even small reductions in meat and dairy intake can have a significant impact on our environment. Food for thought...

Embed this:

Something similar:

Vegan Poker Stars