We understand why people think this but actually, the reverse is true.
In all, one-third of the world’s cereal harvest1 and 70 percent of the world’s soy harvest2 is fed to farmed animals, and most of these nutrients are lost before they reach us via the animals’ meat, milk and eggs.
This is because farmed animals are not efficient converters of feed to meat, and we get fewer calories back from meat, milk and eggs than we feed them. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization puts it this way: ‘When livestock are raised in intensive systems, they convert carbohydrates and protein that might otherwise be eaten directly by humans and use them to produce a smaller quantity of energy and protein.’3
Just how inefficient is the practice of raising animals for our food? Well, animal farming uses 83 per cent of the world’s agricultural land but gives us just 18 per cent of our calories. If we all switched to a plant-based diet, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75 per cent – an area equivalent to the US, China, the European Union and Australia combined.
If everyone was vegan, we could feed the world using a lot less land, and that would allow much more of it to return to nature.4
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