BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 03 July '19

9.6 billion fewer tonnes of CO2 would be released annually if we all went vegan

There would be 130,000 fewer deaths annually if the UK’s meat-eaters went vegan – but if vegans switched the UK aquaculture trade would benefit from a €1,787,700,000 boost.

These are some of the findings of the Veganism Impact Report 2019, which highlights the pros and cons of a vegan diet.

The interactive report uses statistics on the UK, EU and world’s annual animal product consumption to reveal how our employment, trade, health, employment and economy would change if society switched to a plant-based diet, or if everybody consumed animal products.

Veganism and health

The research reveals that there would be 129,445 fewer deaths due to heart and circulatory disease per year if the whole of the UK’s current meat-eating population switched to a plant-based diet.

An estimated 152,405 people in the UK died of heart disease in 2017, but this would fall by a massive 129,544 to just 22,861 deaths per year if the population were to follow a vegan diet.

shows that 8,800 cancer cases are linked to processed or red meat consumption each year, suggesting that opting for a meat-free diet would significantly reduce the chances of developing stomach and bowel cancer.

There would also be a notable reduction in the amount of the world’s land surface occupied by livestock, with a billion fewer hectares used for agriculture if the global population went vegan.

And if everyone ate meat…

Dairy products and birds’ eggs accounted for a huge £386 million of the UK’s exports in 2017, but if production rose to meet the increased consumption of a solely non-vegan population, these exports could rise to £390.5 million.

In 2018, the leather industry alone generated a turnover of €48 billion (£42 million). If 100% of the current EU vegan population began to consume animal products and purchased leather, the industry would generate a staggering €2,832,000,000 turnover per year – representing a 6% increase in the industry.

Employment would also increase by 6% as a result of increased demand for leather, providing 25,665 more jobs in the EU.

If 100% of the current EU vegan population consumed fish, the aquaculture trade would receive a boost of €1,787,700,000 and be able to employ 644 more fishermen per year.

The report does not factor in the rise in jobs created by a greater demand for vegan products.

The research

UK statistics are based on 1.16% of the population being vegan and do not take into account the vegetarian or pescatarian population. EU statistics are based on 5.9% of the population being vegan and vegetarian.

The stats were gathered from sources including NHS, Macmillan, Office for National Statistics, Europa and the RSPCA.