A study finds a small diet change could reduce pollution by one-third

Research published in Nature Communications highlights the significant positive impact that reducing meat and dairy consumption can have on the environment. According to the study, replacing 50% of primary animal food products — such as pork, chicken, beef, and milk — with plant-based alternatives by 2050 could lead to a “substantial reduction in global environmental impacts.”

One of the key findings is that this dietary shift could nearly halt the net reduction of forest and natural land. Additionally, agricultural and land use-related heat-trapping air pollution could be cut by 31% compared to 2020 levels. Allowing agricultural land within forest ecosystems to recover could potentially double the climate benefits. This suggests that a relatively minor diet change could play a crucial role in mitigating environmental degradation and climate change