Fact One

Farming and the eating of animals is a leading contributor to the global climate crisis, responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.[1]


1 Xu, X., P. Sharma, S. Shu, et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food 2(9), 724–732. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x

Further Info

The livestock sector emits 7.1 – 8.1 GtCO2-eq per year. Compared to global emissions of 49 – 52 GtCO2-eq, this represents 14.5 to 16% of global emissions.


Transitioning toward plant-based diets((footnote text)) has the potential to reduce one’s individual food related emissions by up to 50%.

Fact Two

Farming and the eating of animals causes tremendous damage to our forests. 80% of the world’s deforestation [1] is related to our current food system and nearly 70% of cleared land in the Amazon is used for cattle grazing.[2]


1 Fresán, U., & Sabaté, J. (2019). Vegetarian Diets: Planetary Health and Its Alignment with Human Health. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 10(Suppl_4), S380–S388. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz019
2 Cerri, C.E.P., C.C. Cerri, S.M.F. Maia, M.R. Cherubin, B.J. Feigl & R. Lal (2018): Reducing Amazon Deforestation through Agricultural Intensification in the Cerrado for Advancing Food Security and Mitigating Climate Change. Sustainability. 10, p.98

Further Info

According to the IPCC (2019) and Crippa et al. (2021) The food system emits up to 18 – 19.1 GtCO2-eq. (add comparison to something). If current trends continue, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and difficult even to realize the 2°C target, even if fossil fuel emissions were immediately halted.


Transitioning toward plant-based diets has the potential to mitigate up to 8GtCO2-eq per year by 2050. In a recent analysis, vegan/plant based scenarios even showed high negative emissions due to vegetation regrowth on land previously used for concentrated livestock grazing. – (comparison)

Fact Three

Switching to a plant-based diet could reduce your food-related emissions by up to 50%.[1][2][3][4][5]


1 Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Agrarpolitik, Ernährung und gesundheitlicher Verbraucherschutz & Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Waldpolitik beim BMEL (2016): Klimaschutz in der Land- und Forstwirtschaft sowie den nachgelagerten Bereichen Ernährung und Holzverwendung. Berlin.
2 Scarborough, P., P. N. Appleby, A. Mizdrak, et al. (2014): Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK. Climatic Change 125(2), 179–192.
3 Abejón, R., L. Batlle-Bayer, J. Laso, et al. (2020): Multi-Objective Optimization of Nutritional, Environmental and Economic Aspects of Diets Applied to the Spanish Context. Foods 9(11), Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 1677.
4 Hallström, E., A. Carlsson-Kanyama & P. Börjesson (2015): Environmental impact of dietary change: a systematic review. Journal of Cleaner Production 91 1–11
5 Bruno, M., M. Thomsen, F. M. Pulselli, et al. (2019): The carbon footprint of Danish diets. Climatic Change 156(4), 489–507. doi:10.1007/s10584-019-02508-4

Further Info

Our dietary choices are a major driver of global deforestation. The animals needed to produce meat, milk and eggs need large quantities of land, be it for creating pastures for cattle farming or growing fodder crops.


Diets with no more than 15% of calories from livestock – half of what is currently consumed in Europe or Northern America – could reduce deforestation by up to 55%. Further deforestation would not be necessary to feed 10 billion people by 2050, when transitioning towards plant-based diets.

Climate change doesn’t need to be overwhelming. By shifting to a more plant-based diet, YOU can tackle the climate crisis with your fork today. Take action NOW.

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ProVeg team in Bonn


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