Fact Check: Vegan Food Production Does NOT Inflict Greater Environmental Damage Than Traditional Methods


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Vegan Food Production Does NOT Inflict Greater Environmental Damage Than Traditional Methods Less Emissions

Does vegan food production inflict greater damage on the environment than the production of traditional fare? No, that's not true: Numerous scientific studies show that vegan production, which excludes all foods derived from animals, emits far less greenhouse gas (GHG) than livestock or other common food sources.

The claim appeared in a Hungarian-language video (archived here) on TikTok on July 21, 2023, under the caption "vegan production is the most damaging to the environment." Its creator, Kristof Trombitás, is a partner of the Megafon Center, which produces social-media clips in support of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Trombitás opens:

Pay attention, vegan buddy, are you here? So, you don't eat meat because eating meat is murder... A person who hunts, and let's say, shoots an animal, that's one animal -- one, which provides a massive amount of food. Do you know what is needed to produce your little soy-milk latté? The soy farmer has to kill off everything to make sure no problems arise for his soy. Don't tell me you didn't know about it. So the people pushing the #meatismurder campaign are killing off mice, snakes, martens, I don't know, whatever eats the beans. (All translations by Lead Stories.)

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-07-25 at 10.04.42.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jul 25 05:18:11 2023 UTC)

Trombitás supports his claim that veganism is environmentally harmful by focusing on pest-control measures implemented by soybean farmers. The animals that are best known to damage soy crops are insects and worms, according to agricultural researchers. Rodents are also known to consume the beans. However, pest control is a necessary measure in most kinds of agriculture, not just vegan.

The video does not mention that animal husbandry inflicts drastically greater environmental damage than veganism because livestock emits a massive amount of greenhouse gas. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report, "Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change:"

Diets high in plant protein and low in meat and dairy are associated with lower GHG emissions... Where appropriate, a shift to diets with a higher share of plant protein, moderate intake of animal-source foods and reduced intake of saturated fats could lead to substantial decreases in GHG emissions.

Vegans, in fact, leave the smallest environmental footprint of all dietary groups, according to a study published in Nature Food on July 20, 2023. It said:

Systematic reviews of modelled dietary scenarios have shown that vegan and vegetarian diets have substantially lower GHG emissions, land use and water use requirements than meat-containing diets and that diets with reduced animal-based foods tend to be healthier and have lower environmental impact.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane trap heat in the earth's atmosphere and ramp up global warming. Emissions from livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gases resulting from human activity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.


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