Of course a big part of living more sustainably is thinking very carefully about what you eat. What ends up on your plate contributes a great deal to your carbon footprint – and changing your food habits is one of the best ways to live in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way.
If you are trying to make changes and do the right thing for people and planet then you are likely already aware of the costs of factory farming. And are no doubt well aware of the necessity of eating less meat – or even eliminating meat consumption altogether.
But while cutting meat consumption and dairy consumption is important – these are not the only things to think about when moving towards a climate-conscious, or climatarian diet. Just because a diet is vegan – that definitely does not mean that the food is cost free. And it is important to note that a meat-eater’s diet does not necessarily always have a lower carbon cost than a vegan one.
The rice and pulses like lentils, and common cereal grains grown in tilled mono-crop fields, for example, which are common components of a vegan diet can sometimes come at a greater carbon cost, and a greater cost to the environment, than locally, sustainably reared meat. (Considering both how they are grown, and where, and how they reach your local stores or your home.)
It is important, as a climatarian, to remain alert to the true costs of all the food that ends up on your plate – not just any meat and dairy. Think about where your food comes from, critically. This is crucial in order to make informed and sensible decisions.
Of course, in the modern world, there is a great deal of complexity. It is not always easy to make the right decisions. But the more you can grow yourself at home, or source in your local area, and the more discerning you are when shopping for the food you need, the easier doing the right thing can be.