According to new research, the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the Earth’s environment is to cut all meat and dairy from your diet.
The study, which was published in the journal Science, found that while it accounts for just 18% of your overall calorie intake, meat and dairy production uses up 83% of all farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gases.
Close to 40,000 farms across 119 countries were studied by the researchers, covering 90% of all food products that are eaten and accessing the full impact of each of them on the environment. That included air pollution, freshwater use, water pollution, and land use.
“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 use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”