A recent study took a closer look into how the global food system and climate would change if 54 high-income countries were to switch to eating more plant-based foods.

It showed that animal-based foods have higher carbon and land footprints than plant-based alternatives. It also found that richer countries consumed the largest amounts of animal products. As a result, high-income countries could significantly cut back their agricultural emissions by consuming fewer animal products and more plant-based products.

By reducing animal product consumption, these countries would also free up areas of land larger than the European Union as livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land while only supplying 20% of the world’s food. The freed-up land, if left to go back to its natural state, could significantly help to reduce climate change and reverse pollution.

Just the impact of freeing up land to grow and thrive as it used to would have a significant impact on global warming and pollution. It could help reverse some of the damage that has already been done by animal agriculture.

With the environmental effects of animal agriculture becoming more and more clear, it is more important than ever to make a shift towards plant-based eating. Plant-based foods contribute to climate change far less than animal products. They also use less land. 

With the world’s wealthiest countries consuming the most animal products, it is up to them to make the greatest changes for everyone’s benefit.

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