Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth; replacing most harmfully produced meat/dairy with plant-based foods gives major benefits, per new SCIENCE study

  • Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock – it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland
  • The large variability in environmental impact from different farms presents an opportunity for reducing the harm without needing the global population to become vegan.
  • If the most harmful half of meat and dairy production was replaced by plant-based food, this still delivers about two-thirds of the benefits of getting rid of all meat and dairy production.
  • See study links, abstract and other information in my previous blog post here

By Damian Carrington May 31 2018 Read full Guardian UK article here

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.


The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing….

80% farmland for livestock produces just 18% of calories 37% of protein