Vegans have long argued that their way of eating is best for animals and the planet. But a new University of Georgia study suggests that may not actually be the case.
The document states that a diet of mostly vegetarian or humanely grown local plants and meats is probably the most ethical way to eat if we want to preserve the environment and protect human rights.
“There’s nothing sustainable about this plant-based model,” says Amy Trauger, study author and professor at the College of Arts and Sciences. Product or Service. “You don’t have to look far to see how problematic this narrative is.”
She explained that, for example, the soybeans used in products like tofu are not grown in the United States. The study found that, until recently, most soy products were mainly imported from India, where soy production contributes to large-scale deforestation and habitat loss.
Soy farms also take up valuable land that could instead be used to address the country’s food security problem.
The pollution and environmental impact caused by transporting soybeans hundreds of thousands of miles into the United States is an environmental disaster.
Similarly, palm oil, which is often used as a vegetable substitute for butter, is imported from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Nigeria.
Local ecosystems have been devastated by deforestation and biodiversity loss as millions of hectares of forest have been cleared for palm oil production.
In addition to the environmental impact, palm oil production has been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses such as child labor, rampant sexual abuse and rape, and exposure to hazardous pesticides without proper protective equipment.
“People are prioritizing the lives of livestock and farm animals over the lives of those who grow palm oil or soybeans,” Trauger said. “Companies like to tell people that this kind of nutrition will change the world, but it’s not.” “
Many popular theories claim that reducing meat consumption should help mitigate the effects of climate change. But this has nothing to do with the animals themselves. The problem is how the meat industry works now.
“Livestock is critical to the sustainability of the agricultural system and climate change mitigation,” Trauger explained.
She added: “Of course, there is an argument for reducing the amount of meat we eat, but we can get a significant portion of our protein needs from a small amount of animal products such as meat or eggs. Meanwhile, foods such as avocado, coconut, cocoa and coffee, although vegan, are destroying the environment and livelihoods.”
The study was published in the journal of Political ecology.
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