By University of Oxford
Researchers have linked dietary data from over 55,000 individuals with data on the environmental impacts of the foods they eat. The team, from the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) project at the University of Oxford, found that the dietary impacts of vegans were around a third of those of high meat eaters. They also saw a 30% difference between high- and low-meat diets for most of the measures of environmental harm.
Individuals classified themselves as vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian or meat eaters. Data on the environmental impact of their diets was assessed in relation to greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, water pollution risk and biodiversity loss.
The team also took into account the variation in environmental impact based on how and where food is produced, including this variation in their results. This is important as it ensures that the results are based on all the available data about the environmental impact of foods, as opposed to focusing on specific food production methods which can obscure the relationship between animal-based food consumption and environmental impact.