Less meat protects health and the environment

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Reduced meat consumption can reduce greenhouse gases

Vegetarians have known this for a long time: avoiding meat can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Only the restriction of meat consumption can, according to the environmental protection organization WWF, lead to savings of around nine million tons of greenhouse gas per year if consumers would not eat meat at least once a week.

If you eat less meat, you are not only doing something good for your health, you can also save the climate. This is confirmed by a current study by the environmental organization WWF, which was presented to the public in Berlin on Tuesday.

Less meat and less disposable mentality
If every German citizen would reduce his meat consumption to a healthy level and also throw less food into the trash, "67 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be saved each year." The savings in climate-damaging greenhouse gases would then roughly correspond to Portugal's total annual emissions. Therefore, according to the WWF, the worldwide increase in meat consumption "should finally be given more importance as a factor in the fight against climate change".

"Anyone who chooses pasta with tomato sauce or ratatouille instead of ham rolls or hamburgers during their lunch break is actively protecting the climate," says Tanja Dräger de Teran, WWF consultant for climate protection and nutrition, summarizing the results of the "Climate change on the plate" study. “Even if every German citizen only waived meat once a week, that could still result in annual savings of around nine million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That corresponds to the equivalent of 75 billion car kilometers. ”

Not more than 450 grams of meat a week
According to the recommendation of the German Society for Nutrition, adults should not eat more than 450 grams of meat per week. This health recommendation could have a positive impact on resource and climate protection. In addition, if people in Germany would throw away less food, "greenhouse gas emissions of around 800 kilograms of CO2 equivalents could be saved per inhabitant and year". A German citizen currently produces around 11 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Another study even concluded that vegetarians live longer.

Less meat demand means less deforestation in the rainforests
The study also showed that indirect emissions are of fundamental importance. These arise, for example, from the deforestation of tropical forests in favor of pasture and cultivated areas for animals and animal feed. In this context, a healthier diet could help to save significant amounts of greenhouse gases because the demand for meat would decrease. "According to the study authors, a healthy diet and reduced food waste alone could avoid around 35 million tons of indirect emissions in Germany each year. (sb)

Also read:
World Vegetarian Day: Many celebrities eat vegetarian
Vegans live healthy with risks
Health benefits of the vegetarian diet
Gout: Exercise and vegetarian nutrition helps

Author and source information

Video: A Vegetarian Diet is WORSE for the Environment Than A Meat-Eating Diet


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