SCIENCE
If you want to save the world, veganism isn’t the answer
SCIENCE

If you want to save the world, veganism isn’t the answer

Published: November 29, 2019  |  6 min read, 1222 words
WRITTEN BY
Your review will affect the following:
theguardian.comtheguardian.comIsabella TreeIsabella Tree
Veganism has rocketed in the UK over the past couple of years – from an estimated half a million people in 2016 to more than 3.5 million – 5% of our population – today. Influential documentaries such as Cowspiracy and What the Health have thrown a spotlight on the intensive meat and dairy industry, exposing the impacts on animal and human health and the wider environment. Our soils were almost dead. Now we have ​19 types of worm, and 23 species of dung beetle in a single cowpat But calls for us all to switch entirely to plant-based foods ignore one of the most powerful tools we have to... READ MORE
CRITIC
theguardian.com
Outlet Rating
theguardian.com
img-trusted
93%
Critic Reviews: N/A
USER
img-trusted
67%trust it
User Reviews: 6
Average: 3.4/5
TOP REVIEWS
Great Context2
Credible1
Science Misrepresented1

CRITIC REVIEWS

There don't seem to be any reviews yet.

USER REVIEWS

Great Context
November 29, 2019
Great Context
Great point of view on a very delicate topic. The author not only brings good points to the table, but uses personal experience alongside references as a backing for the statements. Enjoyable and informative.
Is this helpful?
Great Context
December 5, 2019
Great Context
This piece delivers information that straddles the line between two competing, emotionally charged sides of a debate. It places the benefits and drawbacks of both animal agriculture and crop farming in perspective.
Is this helpful?
Pure Opinion
December 2, 2019
Pure Opinion
This is an interesting perspective, but the argument is being made in a very irritating way. It's basically saying unless you're buying the "best" most "eco-friendly" vegan products you're not being better by being vegan, so you should be buying the "best" most "eco-friendly" meat. I think this would be a whole lot more impartial if it talked about the various aspects of agriculture and how to be a better consumer in every industry rather than pitting veganism against omnivorism.
Is this helpful?
Anecdotal Evidence
November 30, 2019
Anecdotal Evidence
There is some anecdotal evidence in the piece, but for the most part the author provides a ton of context on an issue that isn't as straightforward as it may have seemed. Turns out, even fighting climate change is nuanced, and Isabella Tree does well to capture that here.
Is this helpful?
Credible
December 28, 2019
Credible
The article hits on some very salient points surrounding veganism. First, 85% of people who attempt to become vegan fail within one year. And even those who succeed ultimately see only an average of a 2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This cannot be considered a winning strategy. Sustainable forms of meat and dairy certainly make more sense when you consider all of the issues pointed out with veganism in this article and other articles, such as those written by Bjørn Lomborg, who is also vegan. https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-change-activists-empty-gestures-by-bjorn-lomborg-2019-12
Is this helpful?
Science Misrepresented
December 2, 2019
Science Misrepresented
This author is either being disingenuous or willfully misunderstanding the issue. First, most vegans take issue with the ethics of consuming meat above all other reasons. As for the environmental issue, the problem we face is two-fold. 1. We are destroying the planet with the current way we farm. 2. We still have to be able to feed everyone on earth. The world population is projected to hit eight billion in 2023. Eight. Billion. You can not feed eight billion people with small livestock farms. We will either hit an environmental brick wall, or there will people without enough to eat. Their comment about methane emissions doesn't actually address the issue at all, but just misdirects you to a different issue about soil quality. Even the article they cite indicates that improving farming practices on cropland "...is more immediately practical and likely than on the other available landuse types, e.g. forestry or grazing land." They also use their small farm in England to support their argument, but cattle and pasture are native to England. Those same farming practices would not necessarily encourage environment restoration if performed in areas where cattle are invasive. That current worldwide demand for meat is causing unsustainable grazing practices and the destruction of old growth and rain forests, which will be difficult to reverse. There will always be a meat industry, but it will have to get a lot smaller. So leave the vegans alone.
Is this helpful?