Sure, study after study has suggested that plant-based eating is probably better for your health. But it also happens to be better for the Earth— you know, the place you’re going to be eating, sleeping, working, and playing for the rest of your natural life. Animal products—dairy, eggs, livestock—typically take more energy to produce than fruits, veggies, and grains, meaning they deplete valuable natural resources and create pollution.
Meat production also generates nearly twice the (planet-warming, sea-level-raising, tropicalstorm- causing) greenhouse gases as vegan diets, according to a study of the diets of 55,000-plus adults headed up by Bard College. The problem goes underwater, too. For example, small fish like mackerel, sardines, and anchovies require less fossil fuel (five gallons) per ton to produce than lobster or shrimp (up to 2,600 gallons), according to a recent issue of Fish and Fisheries.
If you’re not ready to say bye-bye to eggs Benedict or surf ’n’ turf altogether, you can still shrink your carbon footprint by making eco-friendly choices. Oh, and leave the car in the garage and walk to the store. Every little bit helps.