One recent study, scientists found that eating more plant-based foods and less meat could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions from 29 to 70% by the year 2050. This would also reduce mortality around the world between 6 and 10%. Ultimately, millions of lives and billions of dollars could be saved.
In these studies, scientists used health and emissions models to predict the impact of dietary changes. They did this by projecting what would happen to the health of the world and its citizens by eating more servings of fruit and vegetables, along with reducing the consumption of animal products.
One study examined four different dietary scenarios all the way to the year 2050. The first was “business as usual” global diet. The second approach analyzed a healthier diet in which people, on average, consumed adequate calories based on a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables, less sugar and just half a portion of red meat per day. The third pattern the scientists looked at a strong dietary shift toward vegetarianism and the fourth scenario was full veganism.
What they found was if everyone followed the dietary recommendations in the second approach, food-related emissions would be reduced by 29%. If vegetarian diets were adopted, they’d be cut by as much as 63%. And as for full veganism? Global emissions would be cut by 70%!
Now for the financial side, the dietary changes mentioned above could lead to savings of $700 billion to $1 trillion per year on health care, unpaid care, and lost working days, while the economic benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions could be as much as $570 billion.
So what does this mean for you? I’m not suggesting that everyone become a vegetarian or a vegan, but cutting back on our red meat consumption and animal consumption would not only benefit us, but the world we live in as well. Not mention both the physical benefits and financial benefits. The numbers speak for themselves.
Long story short, small changes toward a more plant-based diet WILL help us live longer, but will also reduce the changes that are damaging our planet.