Oxford Study: A Vegan Diet Reduces Environmental Impact
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The popularity of vegan-based foods has taken a spike in recent years. People have become health conscious and are opting for plant-based diets due to perceived health benefits. Many contenders have questioned the health benefits of going vegan, while others think about whether this diet makes a difference to the planet and helps reduce carbon footprints. A recent study at Oxford has proven that a vegan diet is actually better for the environment.   

The study conducted by the Oxford scientists was published in the journal 'Nature Food.’ The scientists surveyed 55,000 participants based in the UK who were part of the survey for 12 months. The participants who ate and drank daily were divided into six categories: vegan, vegetarian, fish-eaters, and meat-eaters of low to high frequency. 

This data was further linked with another data set containing the environmental impact of each food. Reportedly, meat and dairy were found to have a greater impact on the environment in terms of land usage, fertiliser use, and greenhouse gas emissions. The dietary emission of carbon dioxide for a vegan is less than that of those who eat meat and fish. According to the data, vegans have a 30% lower environmental impact when compared to meat eaters. This specifies that following a vegan diet is good for the environment as the carbon emissions are lower than those of people who follow a non-vegetarian diet, which includes dairy, fish, and meat.    

The study by Oxford also reported that eating less meat or simply going vegetarian can also help reduce the environmental impact. However, it is not necessary to opt for veganism completely, as a low-meat diet had about 70% of the impact across most measures in the study.