Evidence That Plant Based Eating Is Best

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Introduction

If preventing cruelty to animals is not enough to prompt a change to plant based eating, there are many other reasons to do so. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that a plant based diet is most effective for combating climate change, and best for our health. Furthermore, plant based eating is best for efficient use of land, saving wildlife and their habitat, saving water, and more.

On this page you can find studies, reports, articles, and other supporting evidence of this.

Evidence Related To HEALTH

Below is evidence that a plant based eating is best for health.

On this page, the term “vegan”, “vegans”, “plant based eating” or “plant-based diet”, are interchangeable, and all refer to people having a 100% plant based diet.

Study By Loma Linda University

A study out of Loma Linda University reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan women, for example, had 34% lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23169929

American Diabetes Association

Plant based eating can reverse diabetes much better than diets created by the American Diabetes Association! ~ ABA Diabetes Care

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/8/1777

National Centre for Biotechnology Information

Vegans have a 78% lower risk of diabetes and a 75% lower risk of hypertension.

~ National Centre for Biotechnology Information

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139

American Heart Association

Plant based eating can reduce inflammation much more than diets created by the American Heart Association. ~ American Heart Association, November 2018

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.011367

National Centre for Biotechnology Information

Vegans are the only dietary group with a normal BMI range, according to a peer-reviewed study published by the American Diabetes Association.

~ National Centre for Biotechnology Information

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19351712

Peer-reviewed Study In The British Medical Journal

According to a peer-reviewed study published in the British Medical Journal, red meat consumption increased the rate of dying from cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, kidney disease and liver disease.

~ British Medical Journal

https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1957

Article: Proven To Reverse Heart Disease

A whole-food, vegan or plant based diet has been proven to reverse heart disease.

http://www.mdedge.com/sites/default/files/Document/September-2017/JFP_06307_Article1.pdf

Studies show that vegans have a 50% reduced risk of hypothyroidism.

~ National Centre for Biotechnology Information

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25263477

National Academy of Sciences

Plant based eating could prevent 8.1 million deaths per year.

~National Academy of Sciences. First published March 21, 2016

Marco Springmann, H. Charles J. Godfray, Mike Rayner, and Peter Scarborough

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-03-22-veggie-based-diets-could-save-8-million-lives-2050-and-cut-global-warming

National Centre for Biotechnology Information

The largest group of nutritional professionals in the world concluded that plant based eating is appropriate and healthy for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.

~ National Centre for Biotechnology Information

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886704

Animal Proteins Causing Disease

There is now a wealth of evidence to show that animal proteins are probably the most significant factor in causing disease amongst humans. So many studies are now accessible; many diseases have been halted and even reversed on a whole food plant-based (vegan) diet. Plant based eating also results in conditions like heart disease due to blocked arteries, diabetes, skin conditions, and cancers, to be less of a problem.

Amongst athletes, whole-food plant-based eating has been shown to increase performance, shorten/enhance recovery time, and increase the length of participation.

Books, Websites, And Films

Books: The China Study, How Not to Die

Websites: www.nutritionfacts.org   www.pcrm.org

Films: Game Changers, Forks over Knives (Knives here meaning surgical blades) and What the Health.

Human Physiology

Human physiology is like that of a herbivore not a carnivore. Well-balanced whole-food plant-based eating is clearly the optimum diet for good health. Add some info about eating organic, preferably stock free (to avoid antibiotic resistance), exercise and things start to look much better for the whole population.

Evidence Related To CLIMATE

Below is evidence that plant based eating is best for combating climate change.

The following institutions have published research, reports or news items on the pollution to the planet caused by animal agriculture including fishing. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

Greenpeace

Yale University

The World Bank

The World Watch Institute

Oxford University

The Natural Resources Defence Council

United Nations Environment Programme

World Wildlife Fund

National Geographic

The World Health Organisation

The Environmental Working Group

Study By The Food And Agriculture Organisation Of The UN

According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s greater than the entire transportation sector.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm

Greenpeace

According to Greenpeace, animal agriculture is the leading cause of Amazon Rainforest destruction.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/cattle-mapping/

Yale University

Yale University agrees. They concluded that 80% of Amazon Rainforest destruction is caused by animal agriculture.

http://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/amazon/land-use/cattle-ranching

The World Bank

The World Bank goes further. They concluded that animal agriculture is actually responsible for 90% of Amazon Rainforest destruction.  

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/15060

World Watch Institute

When taking deforestation into account, a World Watch Institute report concluded that animal agriculture is responsible for 51% of greenhouse gas emissions.

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294

Oxford University

Research by scientists at Oxford University showed that avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs would reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 70%.

https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/news/201603_Plant_based_diets

Natural Resources Defence Council

According to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 9 out of the 10 most climate-damaging foods are animal products.

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/10-common-climate-damaging-foods-infographic.pdf

Greenpeace

Greenpeace concluded that “Global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change and keep the Paris Agreement on track.” https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/15111/greenpeace-calls-for-decrease-in-meat-and-dairy-production-and-consumption-for-a-healthier-planet/

The Natural defence Council And The Clean Water Network

A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Clean Water Network “documents how animal waste from factory farms threatens human health and our nation’s rivers. Most factory farms store animal waste in open lagoons as large as several football fields. Lagoons routinely burst, sending millions of gallons of manure into waterways and spreading microbes that can cause gastroenteritis, fevers, kidney failure, and death.”

https://www.nrdc.org/resources/cesspools-shame-how-factory-farm-lagoons-and-sprayfields-threaten-environmental-and-public

Peer Reviewed Study Published In The Journal Scientific

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest collection of floating trash. A peer-reviewed study published in the journal Scientific Reports concluded that fishing nets account for 46% of the trash, with the majority of the rest composed of other fishing industry gear, including ropes, oyster spacers, eel traps, crates, and baskets.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w

Land Use

30% of the Earth’s ice-free land is occupied by animal agriculture, including using land to grow grains, vegetables, and soy to fatten up billions of farmed animals every year. 

http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e02.pdf

United Nations Environment Programme

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the calories that are lost by feeding soy, vegetables, and grains to animals, instead of using them directly as human food, could feed an additional 3.5 billion people.

http://www.globalagriculture.org/report-topics/meat-and-animal-feed.html

WWF

The World Wildlife Fund concluded that meat-based diets are the leading cause of species extinction. https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/appetite-for-destruction

Water Usage

It takes about 2500 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef and 896 gallons of water to produce 1lb of cheese.

https://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/interactive-graphic/water/

Fishless Oceans By 2048

At the rate in which humans consume fish, we may see fishless oceans by 2048:

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061102-seafood-threat.html

Animal Agriculture And Global Warming

Is renewable energy enough to stop global warming? What about animal agriculture? https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/09/is-renewable-energy-enough-to-stop-global-warming-what-about-animal-agriculture/

The opportunity cost of animal-based diets exceeds all food losses.

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/15/3804

United Nations Report On Biodiversity

The destruction of wild habitat for farming, logging and development has resulted in the start of the 6th Mass Extinction of Life to occur in the Earth’s four billion year history. ~ United Nations (IPBES) report on Biodiversity.

International Union For Conservation Of Species

One in four species is at risk of extinction. 40% amphibians, 34% conifers, 33% coral reefs, 31% sharks and rays, 27% (selected) crustaceans, 25% mammals, 14% birds. Only 30% of all birds on the planet are wild, 70% of all birds are farmed. ~ International Union for Conservation of Species (IUCN) states in its published Red List of threatened species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IUCN_Red_List

World Wildlife Fund For Nature

Between 1970-2010 there have been these population losses; 39% of terrestrial species, 76% freshwater species and 39% marine species.  (Wildlife) habitat destruction is caused by animal farming, which causes mass extinction. ~ World Wildlife Fund for Nature

New estimates of the environmental cost of food.

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-06-01-new-estimates-environmental-cost-food

Viva! Report

“Envirocidal” Report explaining the Climate Breakdown caused by animal agriculture.

https://www.viva.org.uk/envirocidal

The joints of meat that do more damage than a long haul flight By George Monbiot – Article 

Food-miles And The Relative Climate Impacts Of Food Choices In The United States By C L Weber And H S Matthews

Food-miles and the relative climate impacts of food choices

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18546681

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy & GRAIN

Meat and dairy companies to surpass oil industry as world’s biggest polluters ~ Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy & GRAIN ~ July 2018

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/meat-dairy-industry-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fossil-fuels-oil-pollution-iatp-grain-a8451871.html

The Contribution Of Cattle Urine And Dung To Nitrous Oxide Emissions

The contribution of cattle urine and dung to nitrous oxide emissions: Quantification of country specific emission factors and implications for national inventories.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024564

IBPES Report About Loss Of Natural Life

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yd8l2v0u4jqptp3/AACpraYjOYWpTxAFv5H-2vrKa/1%20Global%20Assessment%20Summary%20for%20Policymakers?dl=0&preview=Summary+for+Policymakers+IPBES+Global+Assessment.pdf&subfolder_nav_tracking=1

Why We Are Better Off Without Animal Manure

https://thegreenvegans.com/why-we-are-better-off-without-animal-manure

Assessing The Efficiency Of Changes In Land Use For Mitigating Climate Change

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0757-z.epdf

Every Meat Eater On The Planet Is Helping To Fuel The Amazon Forest Fires

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/amazon-forest-fire-brazil-beef-meat-vegan-vegetarian-brazil-a9076236.html

$1,000,000 A Minute; The Farming Subsidies Destroying The World

https://www.foodandlandusecoalition.org/global-report

Superbug Hotspots Emerging In Farms Across Globe – Study

Antibiotic use in animals is fuelling antibiotic resistance.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6459/eaaw1944

Stockfree Organic Services

Stockfree Organic farming is the greenest, most ecologically sustainable and carbon-neutral way of producing healthy food. How can Stockfree Organic systems help slow down climate change?  They don’t rely on synthetic fertilisers and weedkillers, pesticides and fungicides, all of which consume fossil fuels in the manufacture, packaging and transport, releasing large quantities of CO2 and other airborne pollutants.  ~ Stockfree Organic Services.  http://stockfreeorganic.net

Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers – Oxford University Study

The Meta Study from Oxford University and published in Science 2018

This study is based on 38,700 farms in 119 countries, covering 40 food products that represent 90% of global protein and calorie consumption.They looked at emissions from across the whole product lifecycle – including transportation and mitigation

The study found transitioning to a plant-based society would:

Release 3.1 billion hectares of land – a 76% reduction
Release 19% of arable land (crops used to feed animals)
Reduce GHG by 6.6b tonnes, or 49% (FACTOR IN REFORESTATION AND ITS 71% REDUCTION of GHGs)
Reduce acidification by 50%
Reduce eutrophication by 49% (animal sewage entering water – leads to algae to grow)
Reduce water scarcity by 19%

“Without meat and dairy, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 76% – an area equivalent to the US, China, EU and Australia combined – and still feed the world”

 “Meat, aquaculture, eggs, and dairy use 83% of the world’s farmland and con-tribute 18% of our calories.”

“The lowest-impact aquaculture systems still exceed emissions of vegetable proteins.”

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases but global acidification, eutrophication, land and water use”

 “This international research collaboration has revealed that the belief that grass-fed livestock are good for the environment may be misplaced.”

“This report concludes that grass-fed livestock are not a climate solution. Grazing livestock are net contributors to the climate problem, as are all livestock.”

“Rising animal production and consumption, what-ever the farming system and animal type, is causing damaging greenhouse gas release and contributing to changes in land use”.

The author, Joseph Poore, adopted a vegan diet because of what he discovered.

https://josephpoore.com/Science%20360%206392%20987%20-%20Accepted%20Manuscript.pdf

Oxford University Study 2018 ~ J. Poore & T.Nemecek

Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987

IPPC Report of August 2019

IPCC approved and accepted Climate Change and Land

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/

Seven Things to Know About the IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land

https://www.wri.org/blog/2019/08/7-things-know-about-ipcc-special-report-land-and-climate

This Land is the Only Land There is… (IPCC August 2019)

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/how-think-about-dire-new-ipcc-climate-report/595705/

We Must Change Food Production to Save the World (IPCC August 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/03/ipcc-land-use-food-production-key-to-climate-crisis-leaked-report

___________________________________

Grass Fed / Pasture Farms / Regenerative Grazing

The next few links are to articles about grass-fed, pasture farms, or are referred to as “regenerative” grazing.

The Food Climate Research Network

The Food Climate Research Network report throws cold water on claims that grass-fed beef benefits the environment:

“Key findings include the observation that while grazing of grass-fed animals can boost the locking in of carbon in some locally specific circumstances, that effect is time-limited, reversible, and at the global level, substantially outweighed by the greenhouse gas emissions they generate. Grasslands simply cannot supply the global human population with the quantities of animal protein we currently eat, still less what we are anticipated to consume, without incurring significant expansion in overall grazing ruminant numbers – which would trigger catastrophic land use change and higher net greenhouse gases.”

This report concludes that grass-fed livestock are not a climate solution. Grazing livestock are net contributors to the climate problem, as are all livestock.

“Rising animal production and consumption, what-ever the farming system and animal type, is causing damaging greenhouse gas release and contributing to changes in land use”. ~ from “Grazed and Confused? Ruminating on cattle, grazing systems, methane, nitrous oxide, the soil carbon sequestration question – and what it all means for greenhouse gas emissions” by Dr Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network at the University of Oxford & Cécile Godde at Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and a team of international experts.

Worldwide Fund for Nature, Appetite for Destruction

“We already produce enough to feed the world. It’s overconsumption – especially of animal protein by the global middle class, inequality, waste and inadequate production/distribution systems – that stands in the way of enough food for everyone and space for wildlife. To feed the world in a way our one planet can sustain, we need to consume and produce food differently.”  ~ Worldwide Fund for Nature, Appetite for Destruction https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/appetite-for-destruction

Is grass-fed beef good or bad for the climate? ~ Oxford University

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-10-03-grass-fed-beef-good-or-bad-climate

A 30-year study of grazing and carbon sequestration ~ On Pasture

https://onpasture.com/2017/11/13/what-30-years-of-study-tell-us-about-grazing-and-carbon-sequestration

Countering the false solution of regenerative grazing ~ Seed the Commons

https://seedthecommons.org/a-call-to-counter-the-false-solution-of-regenerative-grazing/

Grazings impact

http://www.futureoffood.ox.ac.uk/grazed-and-confused

https://www.fcrn.org.uk/sites/default/files/project-files/fcrn_gnc_report.pdf

Pasture meat isn’t green

https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/pasture-fed-meat-isn%E2%80%99t-green

One Green Planet’s article about how grass-fed beef isn’t helping

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/eating-grass-fed-beef-isnt-helping-the-planet

Fishing

An estimated 2.3 trillion fish are killed each year.

“Overfishing has led marine scientists to say that the threat faced by our marine ecosystem is much larger than any other environmental threat like increasing pollution.” ~ Marine Science Today

“Abandoned fishing tackle account for 46% of plastic in the ocean.” ~ National Geographic

“Scientists estimate that 650,000 whales dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels and that 40-50 million sharks are killed by lines and nets.” ~ The Guardian 2014

“Over 90% of fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion” ~ Standing Committee on Agricultural Research 2015

“Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health. According to the study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed.” ~ John Roach, National Geographic 2006   www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2006/11/seafood-biodiversity


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