If the world were to follow a plant-based diet and avoided the consumption of meat and other animal-based products such as milk and eggs, there would be over 8 million fewer annual deaths by 2050, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, trillions of dollars would be saved annually in healthcare costs and reduced climate damage.
For the study, researchers examined the effects of several different diets, including a standard omnivorous diet, a vegetarian diet and an entirely vegan diet.
Adopting a vegan diet would prevent 8.1 million fewer people from dying each year due to decreased health issues, the study found. It would also lead to a decrease of food-related emissions by a whopping 70%.
Researchers also found that the world switching to a vegan diet could save up to $31 trillion per year on healthcare costs, a reduction of unpaid care and lost working days, and the economic benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
“The value of those benefits makes a strong case for increased public and private spending on programs aimed to achieve healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets,” Springmann said. “We do not expect everybody to become vegan.. But climate change impacts of the food system will be hard to tackle and likely require more than just technological changes. Adopting healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets can be a large step in the right direction.”
The full study can be found by clicking here.