To say that being a vegan is no better for the environment than being a meat eater?

(699 Posts)
OnlyInYourDreams Thu 06-May-21 17:42:14

Unless you eat only home grown, locally sourced products?

Obviously some people are vegan because they don’t like the idea of using any kind of animal products. But all too often people say that they’re vegan because “it’s better for the environment when this is categorically not the case.

Lots of fruit/veg have to be imported which is actually worse for the environment because it involves pumping man-made substances into the environment.

Products like almond milk are terrible for the environment because e.g. it takes 1600l of water to produce 1l of almond milk. Coca-Cola is practically a green product in comparison…

If people want to be vegan, why not just say you want to be vegan. Coming up with reasons such as “it’s better for the environment” which are just rubbish and laughable is only going to increase the amount of people who don’t take vegans seriously.

OP’s posts: |
stroopwafelgirl Thu 06-May-21 17:44:44

I mean, you could say it, but various studies would prove you wrong.

rosemary35 Thu 06-May-21 17:46:42

Completely untrue. Emissions from meat are so high. Omitting meat from your diet makes your diet hugely more environmentally friendly/low emissions, regardless of where you buy your veg.

WaltzingBetty Thu 06-May-21 17:46:56

Yep you can obviously say it

By doing so you'd demonstrate that you're ignorant and uninformed and value your own opinion over scientific research.

But say what you like. Free speech innit.

HollysBush Thu 06-May-21 17:47:18

stroopwafelgirl grin

Shopliftersoftheworldunite Thu 06-May-21 17:47:35

You can say it but it doesn’t make it right.

SouthOfFrance Thu 06-May-21 17:48:49

You can say it, but you'd be incorrect.


PlanDeRaccordement Thu 06-May-21 17:48:55

I agree OP. To add to your list, the demand for almond milk is killing off the bees. There is also no such thing as sustainable palm oil which is in many vegan foods, and that is killing off the Orangutangs and other rainforest species. The vegan calculations of plant based diet vs omnivore diet are done wrong. They “say” that the animals will be left to live natural lives in herds. But when they do the calculations, they assume the animals do not exist. So instead of comparing Earth resources to raise and regularly cull herds for food to leaving the herds wild....they compare resources to raise and cull herds for food to ZERO. As in cows, pigs, sheep, chickens just cease to exist.

Bibidy Thu 06-May-21 17:49:06

This is such a common argument when it comes to discussing veganism but it just isn't true.

I think the main point is, for example, that the meat industry in Europe produces more emissions than all of the cars and van etc in Europe put together. So yes, vegan alternatives don't have zero impact but they have a much lesser impact than that.

The point is more about the huge impact of eating meat than it is the 'virtue' of vegan products.

BrittanyKAMA Thu 06-May-21 17:49:33

You’re wrong actually. Just imagine how much land, food and water it takes to grow a pig to full-size. Then imagine the size of the pig and how little food that pig provides.

zafferana Thu 06-May-21 17:50:09

You're right OP, although it's obviously not as simplistic as 'one is better than the other'. It really depends what you eat, as either a vegan or an omnivore. You could only eat organically and locally raised meat, which would make you a pretty sustainable and eco-friendly omnivore, vs. a vegan who yes drinks almond milk from California, eats soybeans grown on land that used to be rainforest and whose grains and pulses were grown in developing countries that are food insecure because their staple crops are being exported to feed fussy westerners, which would make your diet terrible for the environment. OTOH, if you grow your own or take part in a local cooperative veg box scheme and only buy Fair Trade and sustainably sourced food, whatever your dietary preferences, you would be doing something great for the planet.

Flugbusters840 Thu 06-May-21 17:50:30

You can say it if you like, but the stats don't back you up. And I say this as a meat eater.

DrSbaitso Thu 06-May-21 17:51:59

It is better for the environment.

It pisses me off too because I'm not vegan either, but there's no point in being offended by the truth. We need to find another justification for not making the change because that one is risible.

NCNCNCNCNCNCNCNCNC Thu 06-May-21 17:53:26

Oh so meat eaters don't eat fruit and veg too?

You pick out almond milk, but what about oat milk? Almond milk is yuck.

Yes some products are bad (like palm oil) but they're in things like peanut butter which meat eaters eat too. And most vegans I know avoid palm oil, in fact Linda McCartney sausages have "palm oil free" on the front as a selling point.

And I'm waiting for someone to bring up soya, whilst ignoring the fact that the majority of soya is grown for animal feed.

I'm not even vegan for any of those reasons. I just don't want another creature to have a shitty life and death so I can have a sandwich.

Iceniii Thu 06-May-21 17:53:46

It's just your subjective opinion though, not based on fact right?

You're assuming all vegans eat 'vegan' products rather than just a plant based diet. Essentially removing the meat part from an omnivores diet.

Queenoftheashes Thu 06-May-21 17:54:26

Of course it’s better for the environment. I am not vegan but I would be if I had the willpower to give up roast beef and profiteroles.

PlanDeRaccordement Thu 06-May-21 17:54:30


You’re wrong actually. Just imagine how much land, food and water it takes to grow a pig to full-size. Then imagine the size of the pig and how little food that pig provides.

That’s where the vegan calculations go wrong. It is vegan philosophy is it not to not harm animals? To let them live peacefully for full natural lifespan? So why is this not included in comparisons?

I’ll tell you because actually leaving a pig to live it’s full 15yrs takes more land, food, water than raising it for two years and slaughtering it.

So the “scientific studies” are clear pulling fast one by calculating the land, food, water to raise a pig to slaughter and comparing it to pig existing.

This would only be accurate if the vegan philosophy were that humans are the only animals that deserve to be alive and we should just drive pigs to extinction and live off plant based foods.

Queenoftheashes Thu 06-May-21 17:55:24

PS most people I know (again not vegan but people who avoid cows milk for environmental reasons) seem to have switched to oat milk. I favour hazelnut.

Iceniii Thu 06-May-21 17:55:39

In fact, you sound like the person who refused to believe people would choose not to have children because of the environment, and wanted them to say the 'proper' reason.

MildredPuppy Thu 06-May-21 17:57:40

I think its quite complicated but logically if you go vegan you cut out the middleman as instead of growing feed for an animal, you grown feed for a person.

I think the complication is that all farmland is not equal so there are bits of the uk that are suitable for sheep grazing but not growing human food.

Pigs are massive!

1Morewineplease Thu 06-May-21 17:58:30

Im just a bit concerned at the amount of land, in particular rainforests in South America, that's been given over to soya production.

The meat industry, though, needs a massive rethink.

paralysedbyinertia Thu 06-May-21 18:00:28

I think you're wrong. It is definitely better for the environment.

I really admire vegans. I'm afraid I'm not quite committed enough yet to give up eggs and dairy, but I respect those who are willing to make that sacrifice.

I'm not going to argue that dairy isn't damaging just because I am not ready to give up cheese!

donquixotedelamancha Thu 06-May-21 18:01:23

Just imagine how much land, food and water it takes to grow a pig to full-size.

Surely this is just an argument for battery farming?

donquixotedelamancha Thu 06-May-21 18:04:09

Completely untrue. Emissions from meat are so high.

But that presumes one measure of 'good for the environment'. Meat is further up the food chain so, inevitably, it is more energy intensive than growing plants on the same bit of land, but not all land can be used for all crops and there are many other factors at play and many other priorities people may have.

Eveyone makes choices. It's good to be informed about the effcts of these choices and to care about stuff. Every lifestyle choice had benefits and drawbacks. Beyond that, wanting to belittle other's choices and claim moral superiority is silly and pointless [gets popcorn and waits for other posters to do it anyway]

NCNCNCNCNCNCNCNCNC Thu 06-May-21 18:04:52

I find the "if we didn't intensively farm X, they would go extinct" quite ridiculous. Even if it were true, which I don't believe it is, you're saying that an animal being separated from its parent at birth, raised in a cage and then killed is better than not existing at all? So you're doing them a favour? What utter bollocks. If you choose to eat meat that's absolutely your right but just own it! I drive a car even though I know I should cycle everywhere. I don't need to try and persuade you that somehow all the climate science is bollocks to justify my choices

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