Meat Based Diet vs Plant Based Diet (Journal Analysis)

I just want to make a point before you read this... I have read this study and found the facts and figures really interesting as I have a passion when it comes to the environment and sustainability. However, I am not now promoting that one diet is better than another. 

A study by Pimmental D and Pimmental K (2003) looked into the difference between the diet of a meat eater and a plant based diet. Some of the facts and figures that they found should a big difference when it comes to sustainability and the environment. 

They looked at the weight of all of the food which is consumed in 1 year on average for both diets. The findings show that plant based dieters eat only 5kg more of food per year with meat eaters consuming 995kg of food per year and plant based eaters consuming 1002kg of food per year.

However, there is a huge difference in the amount of feed grains that are used to create this amount of food. Meat eaters will use 816kg of feed grains per year. And by feed grains, I mean what is fed to the animals and which is used to help grow the different plants and grains that we eat. Whereas, plant based diets need to use just over half of this with 450kg of feed grains per year.
This is a huge difference considering this is per person. Imagine how much more food we would have to feed humans if our meat consumption was cut down?

The animals that are grown to fuel the meat based diet also consume more than 7 times the amount of grain as the entire american population! So if the whole of America stopped eating meat, they would be able to feed themselves 7 times over! 

The difference in the amount of water that is used to create all of this food is astounding too. If you were to produce just 1kg of animal protein, then you would need 100 times as much water than if you were producing 1kg of plant based protein. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) have made water sustainability one of their key strategies until 2020 and failure to address unsustainable use of water today will mean that there will be a bigger struggle regarding water wastage and accessibility in the future. 

(Pimmental D and Pimmental K, 2003)

Read the full study HERE

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