sunset over a field

The Vegan Way of Eating and its Impact on the Climate

We all have to make an effort to stop the climate crisis. Every little step counts. Most people have heard that eating beef has a negative impact on the climate. But what is the problem and how much does eating meat actually affect the climate?  

A lot of non-vegans still eat ox beef, which comes from cattle. Ox beef is the meat that impacts the climate the most. The reason is that the cows’ digestion produces methane, which is a strong greenhouse gas that affects the climate. The production of beef impacts the climate 3-4 times stronger than the production of pork and chicken. 

Also, the production of meat is very inefficient, compared to the farming of vegan food. According to the danish governmental advisory board “The Ethical Council” (Etisk Råd), a cow eats so much that there would be food for seven times as many people if they ate vegan instead. Animal products are also the food products that emit the most CO2 during the processing process before they can be sold in the shops. When you are looking at eating habits, choosing a vegan lifestyle is the most effective way to reduce your climate footprint, because vegans do not eat beef or any other kind of animal products

Did you know? 

Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation (Food and agriculture organization of the united nations, 2006 – “Livestock’s Long Shadow: environmental issues and options”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome 2006

Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day (Ross, 2013 – Ross, Phillip. “Cow Farts Have ‘Larger Greenhouse Gas Impact’ Than Previously Thought; Methane Pushes Climate Change”. International Business Times. 26 November 2013 )

Reducing methane emissions would create tangible benefits almost immediately (Industry leaders, including energy companies, 2014 – Industry Leaders, including Energy Companies, Forge Partnerships to Advance Climate Solutions and Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants”. Climate Summit 2014.)

Is fish climate-friendly? Conventional fishing has consequences for the environment, your health, and the animal welfare of fish. There is overconsumption of antibiotics in conventionally farmed fish, which can pollute the aquatic environment and make bacteria antibiotic-resistant. There may also be pesticide residues in the fish’s feed.

Climate friendly certification

Fairtrade label

The fairtrade label shows us as consumers that the farmers receive a fair price for their products. In addition, it also ensures that the product is produced under proper conditions that take into account both people and the environment.

Bluesign 

The Bluesign system aims to find solutions for sustainable textile production by eliminating harmful substances at each step of the supply chain, and approving chemicals, processes, materials, and products that are safe for the environment, the workers, and customers.

EPEAT 

It stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool. EPEAT is a global ecolabel for the IT sector. EPEAT helps purchasers, manufacturers, resellers, and others buy and sell environmentally preferable electronic products.


Celina, Rose & Kamilla
Københavns Professionshøjskole