Veganism and Resourceism: How Plant-Based Diets Support Sustainable Resource Use
- Michael Corthell
Resourceism is a socio-economic system that advocates for the equitable and sustainable use of resources. It believes that natural resources are the common inheritance of all humanity and should be managed for the benefit of all. Veganism, on the other hand, is a lifestyle that excludes the use of animal products for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. Although these two concepts might seem unrelated, they are actually closely linked. In this article, we explore how veganism supports Resourceism's mission of sustainable resource use.
Reducing Environmental Impact Animal agriculture is a resource-intensive industry that contributes significantly to environmental degradation. It is responsible for deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, among other issues. By adopting a vegan lifestyle, individuals can reduce their environmental impact and help to conserve natural resources.
For instance, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation worldwide, with livestock production being responsible for 80% of the deforested land. By reducing the demand for animal products, veganism can help to reduce deforestation rates and conserve forests, which are essential resources for the planet.
Furthermore, animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. According to a report by the United Nations, livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. By adopting a plant-based diet, individuals can reduce their carbon footprint and help to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Efficient Resource Utilization Plant-based diets require less land, water, and energy than animal-based diets, making them more efficient in terms of resource utilization. According to a study published in the journal Science, producing one kilogram of beef requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more greenhouse gases than producing one kilogram of plant-based protein.
Moreover, animal agriculture is a water-intensive industry that consumes vast amounts of freshwater resources. According to a report by the Water Footprint Network, producing one kilogram of beef requires 15,415 liters of water, while producing one kilogram of wheat requires only 1,160 liters of water. By reducing the demand for animal products, veganism can help to conserve water resources and make them available for other uses.
Promoting Sustainable Resource Use By reducing the demand for animal products, veganism also helps to alleviate the strain on global resources, making more resources available for other uses. According to a report by the University of Minnesota, if all Americans adopted a plant-based diet, it would free up 760 million acres of land, equivalent to the size of Alaska, Texas, California, and Montana combined. This land could be used for other purposes, such as reforestation, wildlife conservation, or sustainable agriculture.
Veganism supports Resourceism's mission of sustainable resource use by promoting the more efficient use of resources, reducing environmental impact, and making more resources available for other uses. By adopting a plant-based diet, individuals can contribute to a fairer, more equitable, and more sustainable world for all.
- "Livestock and deforestation" by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
- "Livestock's long shadow" by the United Nations
- "Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change" by the University of Minnesota.
- Resourceism: The Ideology for an Equitable and Sustainable Future
- What is the Future of Veganism