A new study of more than 50,000 people in the United Kingdom shows that going vegan, vegetarian, or even “pescatarian” can drastically reduce people’s carbon footprints.

Published in the journal Climatic Change, the study concluded that if people eating more than 100 grams of meat a day went vegan, their food-related carbon footprint would shrink by 60 percent.

If a person eating more than 100 grams of meat per day — and U.S. consumers eat about 225 grams daily — cut down to 50 grams per day, their food-related CO2 emissions would fall by a third, the study said.

Pescatarians, who eat fish but no other meat, generate only 2.5 percent more CO2 emissions than vegetarians, according to the study. The research also concluded that vegans produce 25 percent fewer CO2 emissions than vegetarians, who still eat eggs and dairy. “

In general there is a clear and strong trend with reduced greenhouse gas emissions in diets that contain less meat,” said Oxford University researcher Peter Scarborough, a co-author of the study.


About Author

Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news.

Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

Comments are closed.