Does switching to a plant-based diet/veganism encourage people to take positive climate action? Read on to find out!

Climate change is perhaps one of the most terrifying threats to human existence in our times. Several governments across the world have adopted policies that are geared towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. The Paris climate agreement is expected to singularly address a majority of the concerns relating to adverse climate change. However, it is becoming more and more apparent by the day, that despite all the efforts that governments and policy makers take in this direction, it eventually comes down to how individuals like you and me adapt to the changing circumstances and what action we as individuals take towards addressing some of these concerns.

Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions is one of the primary sources of global warming and climate change. GhG emissions come from a variety of sources, including burning of fossil fuels (like coal, petrol, diesel etc.), industrial activity, animal agriculture and so on. Several studies show that animal agriculture contributes ~ 20% of the GhG emissions, leading to accelerating adverse climate change.

Fortunately for the sake of the planet, people are increasingly turning to plant-based diets for one or the other reasons. While quite a lot of us do it to avoid cruelty towards animals and for the sake of improving our own health, some others do it as they are more informed about the effects of animal agriculture on the planet’s climate. Thus, this trend has both a direct and an indirect impact on how we treat Mother Earth. 

Yoga4ClimateChange recently conducted an online survey to understand some of the behavioral changes related to switching to a plant-based diet/vegan lifestyle. One of the main purposes of this study was to gauge whether people who have turned vegan have increased levels of motivation to take positive climate action in other areas of their lives and if so, what positive actions they are considering on taking in the near future. From a survey of over 550 individuals, mostly vegans from more than 40 countries (see map below for where respondents were from), we have some very interesting results!

 

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Among those surveyed, more than 87% of pollsters were strictly vegan, more than two-thirds of them being vegan for more than a year. 

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Almost 79% of the participants were of the opinion that their turning vegan is helping fight climate change! An overwhelming 86.5% of people said they were motivated to take additional positive climate action to assist with protecting our planet. 

 

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There were some very interesting responses to the question on the survey regarding what positive climate action do they intend to take in the next month. While some of the interesting individual responses will be posted on the List Your Climate Action page soon, a word-cloud of the popular words used by them is provided here. Most of the participants reported that they would be keen reduce the use of plastic to the largest extent possible.

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What’s more – more than 93% of the people who had turned to plant based diets also felt better about themselves compared to earlier, which shows the positive influence that this single lifestyle change brings about in individuals.  

 

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More than 65% of the respondents thought that there might be more to being vegan (for eg. A spiritual dimension) than just protecting animals. 

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In summary, this survey highlights some of the important aspects related to adopting a plant-based diet/vegan lifestyle and its influence on taking positive climate action. We at Yoga4ClimateChange are focused on promoting positive, pro-active dialogue between the conscious (Yogi/Vegan) and the scientific (climate science) communities and work towards bringing them closer to each other for everybody’s benefit.

 

Yoga4ClimateChange (Y4CC) thanks all the survey respondents! If you have any queries regarding the survey or the work we do at Y4CC, please write to us at sree@yoga4climatechange.org. Like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter to get further updates!