Food security

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Vegan and plant-based diets use less resources

Food (and land) security is becoming a major issue. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that one in nine people are chronically undernourished. With the world’s population expected to increase from 7 billion to reach 9-11 billion by 2050, one of the most urgent questions we now face is how we, as a species, will feed ourselves in the 21st century.

Even if we tackled the economic forces that ultimately cause the unfair allocation of resources, land availability would still be one of the main constraints on mass food production. The Earth has only a limited area of viable agricultural land; how this land is used is central to our ability to feed the world. This is particularly important given how desertification and other ecological issues brought on by climate change continue to reduce the quantity and the quality of the world's arable land.

Meat-heavy, Westernised diets are a waste of resources we desperately need to conserve. This is because livestock consume much more protein, water and calories than they produce. Most of the protein from vegetable feed is used for the animal’s bodily functions and not converted to meat, eggs or milk.

How your diet can help

Studies indicate that a varied vegan diet requires about a third of the land needed for conventional Western diets; 3.5 billion humans could live off the food currently fed to livestock.

Quite simply, we do not have enough land to feed a growing population an animal-based diet. While 800 million people do not have enough food, we continue to waste valuable agricultural land by obtaining only a small fraction of its potential calorific value.

The world’s population is increasing and viable agricultural lands are diminishing. If we are to avoid future global food scarcity we must find sustainable ways of utilising our natural resource base. Industrial livestock production is not just unsustainable; it's unjustifiable.

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