What’s the environmental impact of going vegan?
A vegan or vegetarian diet and lifestyle requires far fewer resources like grain, water, oil, forested land, contribute less CO2 to the atmosphere and no animals are killed for their consumption.
Did you know that raising livestock contributes more to global warming than automobiles?
So choosing to become vegan or vegetarian is the single best thing you can do for the environment.
But what’s the real environmental impact of not eating meat?
How much do vegans save?
Each day, a person who follows a vegan diet saves 4,164 Liters of water, 18 kg of grain, 3 m² of forested land, 9 kg CO2, and one animal life.
In imperial numbers, this translates to 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 ft² of forest land, and 20 lbs CO2.
Those numbers are a bit lower for a vegetarian diet, but you are still saving while on a vegetarian diet.
To learn more about how these numbers were calculated, see our list of sources.
If you’re curious how much your environmental impact has lessened since going vegan or vegetarian, use the vegan calculator above.
Quit meat & track your progress
You want to eat less meat and dairy products? If you’re thinking of becoming vegan or vegetarian, there is no better way of staying motivated by tracking your progress and see how much impact you’re having on animals and the environment.
The easiest way to become vegan or vegetarian
Bookmark this page and check back every once in a while to see your progress. We’ll keep track of when you started your journey and update the calculator based on your days since you have gone vegan or vegetarian.
The difference one person can make by becoming a vegan
How much impact does one person have and does it make a difference? I often asked myself. It turns out, one single person can actually make a difference. And it’s more significant than you might think.
Whether you’re thinking of going vegan for animal rights reasons or to reduce your carbon footprint. You will make a difference!
How is this estimation calculated?
The vegan calculator uses data from the Water Footprint Network, Scientific American, Springer Nature, Environmental Working Group, and many other sources. The rule of thumb is that each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 4,164 Liters of water, 18 kg of grain, 3 m² of forested land, 9 kg CO2, and one animal life.
Those are average numbers calculated in the U.S., which means that this data cannot be applied across the world. Some countries might have a much higher meat consumption per person. And in some countries, a vegetarian diet could be much more common than in the US.
- Water Footprint Network
- Scientific American
- Springer Nature
- Environmental Working Group
- Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work (Book)
Breakdown of the used data
The average person in the U.S. uses 405,000 gallons of freshwater per year (a combination of the subfractions which comprise 206 pounds of meat per year– divided between 46 pounds of pig, 58 pounds of cow, 102 pounds of chicken and turkey in addition to 248 eggs and 616 pounds of dairy products), which equates to saving 1,100 gallons of water each day.
This is calculated by multiplying ounces of each meat consumed daily per person by the feed conversion factor for each animal. This equals 45lbs of grain saved per day.
Forested land calculation
Experts estimated that 80,000 acres of rainforest are cleared each day with an additional 80,000 degraded, with 70-91% of that degradation for the livestock industry.
This calculation is based on the feed conversion ratios and the average US meat and dairy consumption per year, per person.
More vegan resources
If you’re interested to learn more about the vegan lifestyle, visit our blog to learn more: Blog