There’s No Such Thing As a Green Vegan

Mary Harrington

Go meatless to save the earth! After all, the meat industry contributes 14.5% of the planet’s entire carbon emissions, gobbles up 26% of the globe’s ice-free surface for grazing and a further 33% for feed production, pollutes water, impacts biodiversity, and of course — in its industrialised form — is shockingly cruel to animals.

With all these arguments, the pendulum appears to be swinging inexorably toward plant-based diets … today food tech is all over the vegan question.

… In terms of animal cruelty, alt-meat is clearly a winner. But its overall “green” credentials bear closer examination. To understand why, we need to talk about nitrogen.

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