Food-related carbon dioxide emissions could be slashed by 70 percent (or 9.6 billion tons) if the current meat-eating population went vegan, according to the recently released Veganism Impact Report. The report compared annual statistics about animal product consumption, employment, trade, health, environment, and economy between the United Kingdom, European Union, and the world in general to visualize how society would change if the current vegan population consumed animal products or if the meat-eating population went vegan. UK statistics are based on 1.16 percent of the population being vegan and EU statistics are based on 5.9 percent of the population being vegan or vegetarian. The report includes an interactive tool that allows users to select a percentage of the population from 0 to 100 and shows the impact the change would have if they were vegan versus not vegan. Data related to agriculture shows that going vegan would mean one billion hectares of the world’s land surface currently used for animal agriculture would be freed up. Data related to health predicts that if meat-eaters went vegan there would be close to 130,000 fewer deaths from heart and circulatory disease each year in the UK alone. For comparison, an estimated 150,000 in the UK died of heart disease in 2017. The report also notes there would likely be 8,800 fewer cancer cases in the country each year. Currently, this number of cancer cases are linked to processed or red meat consumption, which can contribute to stomach and bowel cancer.
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