Habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by the expansion of agricultural land is the leading driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. The food system is estimated to cause 60% of all biodiversity loss¹, and most of this is caused by animal farming which uses 77% of all agricultural land².
Experts at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which brings together the most influential conservation organisations from across the world, have called for at least 30% of the worlds land and sea to be fully protected conservation area by 2030. Making space for nature is the only way to slow or halt the decline in biodiversity which has been described as the sixth mass extinction event.
Eating plants directly is much more energy efficient and cuts out feeding them to farmed animals, cutting out a highly wasteful part of the supply chain. That means it needs much less farmland to produce the same amount of food and there’s more space for natural habitats to recover.
It’s not just land animals who are impacted by the food we eat. Life in the oceans is also declining under increasing pressure from industrialised fishing which kills literally trillions of fish every single year. Estimates show that over a third of commercially exploited fish populations are being fished at biologically unsustainable levels³. This has knock-on effects along the whole food chain.
Fishing puts humans into direct conflict with natural predators in the ocean by competing with them for food. Entanglement in fishing gear, called ‘by-catch’, is also a major problem for other marine life. It is thought that by-catch kills 300,000 whales and dolphins each year⁴.
So, whether it’s on land or in the ocean, eating a vegan diet is an effective way to make more space for nature and respect the plants and animals we share our planet with.