Veganism – the key to adapting a sustainable lifestyle?

Veganism is a growing movement around the world, but many people are still unsure as to how a diet change could benefit the planet. There is certainly some controversy on the subject, however the facts are; while the worlds population has doubled since the 1960’s, world meat production has quadrupled. These figures are only growing, and by 2050 are estimated to have doubled. This really illustrates the importance of the vegan movement, just based on the shear mass production of meat in our world today. The real question is, why should we be concerned by the scale of animals being farmed?

How animal agribusiness affects our land use

One of the biggest factors involved in the production of meat is the amount of land required to farm animals. People may still wonder how this has much of an environmental impact, but this contributes towards deforestation which then results in an increase in global warming. Trees play a major role in controlling global warming, by utilizing green house gases and restoring the balance in the atmosphere. With constant deforestation the ratio of green house gases in the atmosphere has increased, adding to our global warming woes. There are many other negative impacts caused by deforestation, however global warming is definitely one of the most alarming.

 

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Water usage in the meat industry

The farming of animals involves using a huge amount of water, but again, why should we be concerned by this? To put it simply, without fresh water you will die in just a few days. Water consumption for agriculture alters the natural water cycle in many areas of the world. This degrades production areas and intensifies other environmental problems such as landclearing. We know that of all the worlds water, only 3% is fresh. Less than one third of 1% of this fresh water is available for human use and the rest frozen away in glaciers. As our population grows, more and more people are sharing this limited resource. Also, the more water consumed the less there is available for the environment. Therefore, it is important that we use water wisely and do not waste it on the mass production of meat.

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A meat free diet saves greenhouse gases

There are many more points to make when considering the impact the meat industry has on our environment, and these are just a few. As already stated, livestock contributes to global warming through deforestation. Overall, animal agriculture is responsible for about 9% of human carbon dioxide emissions globally, but is also a significant source of other greenhouse gases.  For example, ruminant animals like cattle produce methane, which is a greenhouse gas about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  The livestock sector is responsible for about 37% of human-caused methane emissions, and about 65% of human nitrous oxide emissions.

There are many environmental factors which must be considered when deciding on a diet. Whether people wish to accept it or not, that decision when doing your weekly shop can have a huge impact on our environment. Your choice is a vote, make it a vegan one and stick to a plant based diet.

Eco-holidays in the UK!

Since we are now approaching the season of sunny weekend retreats, and local getaways with family and friends, I figured a good place to start would be to display what you can expect from an Eco-holiday and where you can find your them right here in the UK. For those individuals who are looking for a unique getaway this summer and want to be surrounded by everything green and sustainable, Loveland Farm is the place to go.

Loveland farm sits in a small valley just a mile from the coast and in an area of outstanding natural beauty just outside the village of Hartland. Hartland is located directly between Barnstaple and Bude on the Devon and Cornwall border. It is a popular tourist spot with visitors coming through to see Hartland Quay, the Abbey and the lighthouse at Hartland point.

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Hartland Quay

The stunning views were certainly a selling point when I visited Loveland, but this remote little farm has so much more to offer than scenery.  On the approach to the farm we were greeted and given a tour of the site. Among the animals and crops were 5 luxurious pods spread out, providing a more personal, exclusive getaway. The pods vary in size, but all offer the same experience. I stayed in the Loveland pod along with my girlfriend and found that although it is designed to sleep 6, it was perfect for a couples retreat. Being a fair distance from any supermarkets we were unsure what the food situation would be like, but to our surprise we were supplied with a basket full of fresh produce, pasta, milk and a range of sauces along with all the essentials like tea/coffee etc. The kitchen itself was directly opposite the pod, and had everything you would expect from a standard kitchen, which was a surprising luxury on a camping holiday!

At night we relaxed on the hammock outside, drinking the Prosecco provided by Loveland and taking in the incredible views. We had never seen so many stars in the sky when on holiday in the UK, so this was a treat. We then retired to the bed to watch a film on the projector screen that was attached to the top of the pod. We had been given 50 films to choose from so we were spoilt for choice!

In my experience, nothing can compare to the tranquility and peacefulness of Loveland when seeking an escape. Not only does this place provide a wonderful unique experience, but it also allows you to appreciate nature at its best.

THE BIG IDEA

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.

(Victor Hugo, 1802-1885)

My big idea? Many people believe it is our planet that we should be focused on saving, however I am driven by the idea that we should be looking to save ourselves. We, as a species must embrace fundamental change and I am here to spread a little inspiration. There are reasons to be positive about the future! The knowledge of human impacts on our environment are growing greater and governments and businesses are beginning to see the benefits to being green.

The intention of my blog is to show people how easy it is to be green, and to simply display my love for sustainability. One of the best decisions I have ever made was to adapt a sustainable mindset and a greater care for our environment.  Thanks to this realization I now feel significantly happier and more fulfilled in life. I wish to share my experiences with as many people as I can! sustainable idea.jpg