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What if everyone went vegan?

by ace
What if everyone went vegan?

The first approach was shock. “He published news that was perhaps a little more violent,” he admits today. But, he guarantees, “there are many people who only notice even when they see the images” of the dead animals.

“We see images of cows in the Azores, all grazing, and everything is very beautiful. But if we look at the reality behind it, there is another industry that is hidden. We idealize animal production to feel good. Happy animals, happy meats, organic meats. But, in the end, they all go to slaughter ”, he stresses.

After almost a decade, Beatriz Batista's blog is now based on more positive publications, such as recipes, workshops and travel tips. Every week, he receives messages from people who want to know more about the world of vegetarianism. “I constantly receive e-mails from teenagers who want to know how they can be vegetarian, how they can tell their parents. And it's not just teenagers. I have people over 60 years old contacting me. ”

After the blog, the vegetarian shop appeared. “It was born from the need that I had to have products myself”, he explains. When, three years ago, she was dismissed from the company she worked for, she dedicated herself full time to managing the store and blog, whose audience has continued to grow.

Despite the increase in recent years, the number of vegetarians and vegans worldwide is far from reaching a majority – let alone reaching 100% of humanity. The IPSOS survey published in September 2018 details that 73% of the world's population declares itself omnivorous, that is, they eat by alternating between animal products, such as meat, fish and dairy products, and plant-based foods.

A smaller percentage – 14% – says they eat meat and fish only occasionally; and 3% say they do not eat meat, but eat fish. The rest are distributed among those who do not eat meat or fish (vegetarians, 5%) and those who do not consume any animal products (vegans, 3%).

Putting the merely academic hypothesis of the entire world population abandoning the consumption of animal products overnight requires great caution in the analysis of the results, since there are many unknown effects – above all associated with a total inversion of reality global economic situation with regard to food.

Some studies, however, have tried to answer this question. From an environmental point of view, there seem to be undeniable advantages. At the socio-economic level, however, the emergence of a vegetarian humanity could jeopardize millions of jobs and destroy economies based on local gastronomic traditions all over the world.

A study conducted by researcher Joseph Poore, from the University of Oxford, published in June 2018 in the journal Science, concludes that the adoption of a vegetarian diet by all humanity "has a transformative potential, reducing the use of land for food production by 3.1 billion hectares". Only with regard to the use of agricultural land allocated to livestock production, it would be a reduction of 76%.

It would then be necessary to use at least 80% of the agricultural land released to re-plant forests and vegetation, with the aim of contributing to the capture of carbon dioxide and the production of oxygen. The remaining 10 to 20% of the land released, if used to grow food for human consumption, would be enough to compensate for the amount of food lost with the disappearance of animal consumption.

Poore's study further estimates that a total abandonment of consumption of animal products would lead to a 6.6 billion tonne reduction in annual global greenhouse gas emissions – a 49% reduction compared to the figures of 2010.

Over the 100 years following the change in the diet of mankind, the natural recovery of forests and natural vegetation would contribute to the removal of 8.1 billion tons of CO2eq (CO2 equivalent, a measure used for the amount of harmful components in greenhouse gases) from the atmosphere each year.

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