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Vegan Diet fights Global Warming

Eshel and Martin demonstrate their climate-saving cooking skills

Eshel and Martin demonstrate their climate-saving cooking skills

Two University of Chicago professors, Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, have completed a study (accepted for publication in Earth Interactions) linking human dietary choices to global warming.

While methane and nitrous oxide are relatively rare compared with carbon dioxide, they are–molecule for molecule–far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. A single pound of methane, for example, has the same greenhouse effect as approximately 50 pounds of carbon dioxide.

In their study, Eshel and Martin compared the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions that underlie five diets: average American, red meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian (including eggs and dairy), all equaling 3,774 calories per day.

The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy-efficient, followed by poultry and the average American diet. Fish and red meat virtually tied as the least efficient.

This conclusion is unlikely to surprise many SuperVegan readers, but the fact that this is coming from actual hard scientists (Eshel and Martin are geophysicists) could mean a lot to other people.

Here’s a link to the press release, with more info.

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