Meat-eaters’ greenhouse gas emissions are twice as high as vegans’

Meat-eaters dietary greenhouse gas emissions are twice as high as those of vegans, a study finds.

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Guest post by Chris Riotta

People who eat meat produce double the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from their diets than vegans, researchers report May 31 in Climatic Change.

Everything from producing, transporting, storing, cooking and even wasting food contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and meat products have higher emissions because of the methane released from animals’ digestive systems.

As a result, meat-eaters who consume 50 to 99 grams of meat each day contribute 5.63 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents to the atmosphere per day, while vegans contribute only 2.89 kilograms, the researchers found. Vegans had the lowest dietary greenhouse gas emissions, followed by vegetarians and then people who only ate fish.

Governments could use the findings to update their recommendations for a “healthy, sustainable diet,” the authors suggest.

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