Opinions and analyses by experts, activists and contributors from Vietnam and outside, on national and regional matters.

I’ve stopped eating meat to help fight climate change

Producing one kilogram of meat emits 36.4 kg of CO2, which is the same as from a car traveling 155 kilometers.
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Producing one kilogram of meat emits 36.4 kg of CO2, which is the same as from a car traveling 155 kilometers.

Climate change has been a burning issue as it directly affects all aspects of life, causing serious impacts on the natural environment and human health.

According to experts, there are many causes of climate change such as deforestation or the use of fossil fuels, but humans’ lifestyle also has a profound impact on the Earth.

Several studies show that the huge numbers of livestock and animals raised for meat produce 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions from CO2, methane and nitrogen oxide.

To produce 1 kg of meat, it takes 10 kg of food and 15,000 liters of water. To make 1 liter of milk, 990 liters of water are needed. The energy to produce 1 kg of meat can keep a 100kW lightbulb burning for 3 weeks. Producing 1 kg of meat will emit 36.4 kg of CO2 as much as the exhaust of a car traveling 155 km.

Based on scientific reports, livestock production also accounts for 77% of arable land, despite the fact that it provides only 18% of the world’s calories and 37% of protein. This is because land is needed to grow fodder for livestock as well as for the animals themselves to live.

So by reducing meat consumption and switching to a more plant-based diet, we can significantly reduce our individual carbon footprint. Scientists around the world are also calling on people to reduce meat consumption as the world is dealing an emergency on climate change.

In the city of Ghent in Belgium, a vegetarian campaign has been launched, encouraging people to fast one day a week to protect the environment and fight climate change.

Without the nutrients from plant foods, it is not possible to ensure the nutrients necessary for the function of the human body. Vegetarianism helps to avoid high fat and cholesterol from animal meat and fiber and essential starches for the body.

I have started to change my diet to contribute to environmental protection by including more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and nuts in my daily meals while reducing meat and dairy intake, in order to make a personal contribution to reducing the impact on the environment.