Switching to a vegan diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce your impact on the planet, and you won’t be doing it alone – according to polling conducted by Ipsos Mori, the number of vegans in the UK increased by 400% from 2014 and 2019, to over 600,000. The environment is one of the top three reasons cited for people who follow a vegan diet, alongside health and compassion for farmed animals.
A major study covering 140 countries found that a shift to vegan friendly food reduced a person's diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by any average of 70%. While the optimal diet varies between countries, it found that vegan diets were the lowest emissions option in 97% of the countries studied¹. Switching to a vegan diet also significantly reduces the land area required to produce your food, reducing pressure on the world’s most precious ecosystems and giving us a better chance to slow and halt the decline in biodiversity that we have witnessed in recent decades.
One important reason that diets containing animal products are much more harmful to the planet is the inefficiency of raising animals for food. Most of the energy used to raise animals – in the form of food – goes to sustaining their life, including their movement and metabolism, and does not end up in the animal products themselves. This means that huge amounts of land, water and agrochemicals are used to maintain cropland for animal feed and grazing pasture, but most of the energy produced on this land does not enter the human food supply. Eating plants directly cuts out this hugely wasteful part of the supply chain.
If just 10% of animal products were replaced by plant-based alternatives globally by 2030 it’s estimated this would save CO₂ emissions equivalent to 2.7 billion trees, and an area of land bigger than Germany². Nobody can save the planet on their own – national and international action is needed slow and reverse climate and environmental breakdown – but by making this personal commitment to reduce the impact of your diet.
Click on the other icons to find out more about the impact current diets are having on our planet, and the difference a vegan diet can make. Explore the site more to discover some tasty low-impact recipes, calculate the carbon footprint of your food, and find out the progress made so far by people who have already signed up to the 7-day pledge.