What If The World Went Vegetarian?

What If The World Went Vegetarian?


Chances are you or someone you know is vegetarian
– so we thought we’d try a thought experiment. What would happen if everyone in the world
was suddenly a vegetarian? What effect would it have on our lives and the planet? Before we begin, full disclosure: none of
us at AsapSCIENCE are vegetarians. And the worldwide rate of vegetarianism is fairly
low, ranging from about 4-5% in the US and Canada to a little over 30% in India. As a
result, there are currently about 20 billion chickens, 1.5 billion cows, over a billion
sheep and nearly a billion pigs in the world. Without any meat-eating humans to provide
a market, whole herds of domestic animals would disappear. And this would free up vast quantities of
land. About 33 million square kilometres of land are used for pasture – an area about
the size of Africa. And that’s not even counting the land used to grow crops exclusively
for animal feed. Some of it would be needed for the increased amount of vegetable crops,
but much of the land currently used as pasture is actually too dry to grow crops. Without
humans adding artificial nutrients, this land could turn to desert, but if properly managed,
it’s possible that some farmland would return to its natural state of grassland or forests,
which could help counteract global climate change. After all, the loss of CO2-absorbing
trees cleared for agriculture is a major reason why global levels of CO2 are going up. Cows and other grazers also affect our climate
through large amounts of methane production, which has 25 times more potential planet-warming
power than CO2. Combined with the loss of forests and other effects, livestock production
is responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all the
world’s planes, trains and automobiles put together. In fact, many scientists believe
that reducing meat consumption may be one of the best strategies for managing climate
change. A vegetarian diet would also greatly reduce
water consumption; around 70% of global freshwater consumption is used in agriculture. It takes
15,000 litres to make a kilogram of beef, 6,000 L for pork and 4,000 L for chicken – Compare
this with 1,600 L for cereal crops, 900 L for fruit and 300 L for garden vegetables.
Of course a kilogram of meat packs many more calories than an equivalent weight of fruit,
but even if you compare the ratio of water per calorie of available food energy, beef
is still 5 times more water intensive than fruit, 7 times more than veggies and 20 times
more than cereal. So are there any downsides to a vegetarian
diet? Well, we’d be left without a cheap source for many byproducts of livestock, like
leather from animal hides, or animal fats which are used in cosmetics, candles and detergents.
And while vegetable based alternatives do exist, their production would need to increase,
meaning more land dedicated to growing crops and less restored to its natural state. A more complicated fact is that raising and
processing animals is a full-time job for more than 1 billion people – most of whom
are small-scale farmers in the developing world. While some may be able to move to producing
milk or eggs, or even growing vegetable crops, many would be faced with their way of life
becoming obsolete. Of course, any increase in vegetarianism is
likely to be a gradual process rather than a sudden cut-off. And, surprisingly, the trends
are actually in the opposite direction; in places like India and China, people are becoming
wealthier, and as a result, consuming more meat which effectively cancels out the declines
we see in other countries. So, we actually tried to go vegetarian for
21 days straight as an experiment in our new AsapTHOUGHT episode. Check out the video if
you want to see how it went, what we learned in the process and how we felt about it! And subscribe for more weekly science videos!

100 Replies to “What If The World Went Vegetarian?

  1. What will happen to carnivorous pets? Can't turn the loose or leave them in shelters. What happens to them?

  2. Good video. You actually forgot to say that becoming a vegetarian also contributes to saving oceans which absorde more CO2 than Amazon Forest itself 🌳🐳
    Peace ✌️

  3. The north american continent was once covered by millions of bison. Do you think bison aren't flatulent? The "cow farts" argument is just stupid.

  4. If everyone ate just a little less meat the world would be healthier and the people would be too. Not even full vegetarian just more so than now

  5. Just a random thought: Why do people become veggie because they feel guilty for eating animals, but nobody ever gives up using birthday candles, because we are basically blowing our germs over a cake that we are sharing with our friends and family????!!!!

  6. With a rapidly growing population, being vegetarian is nice and all, but soon it might not be enough. We require a different solution.

  7. These people are going vegetarian for 21 days…
    But in my whole life I’ve been vegetarian since birth
    If you wanna be a vegan, start from minecraft!!!

  8. No it wouldn't help cut down on climate change because we would be eating more plants that convert carbon dioxide to oxygen

  9. I have been pesketarian since I was born same as my parents and all of my siblings, at eleven I stopped consuming dairy products by choice, and vegan at thirteen, the only vegan in my family, I’m proud but people say I go on about being vegan a lot and I’m not going to deny it, I do 😂

  10. Everybody needs to be more aware of the fact that people live under very different life circumstances. I am a vegetarian, often eating even vegan and it’s super easy for me. On the other hand I have a close family member who‘s fructose intolerant, meaning they can‘t eat most fruits and vegetables and since they are quite young you can’t really tell them to eat foods (like nuts and seeds) they don’t like – so most of their nutrition comes from meat and fish and I would never tell them to become plant based!

    Just everybody: be mindful and do the best you can do yourself. Don’t be an asshole towards vegans, don’t be an asshole towards omnivores. Thank you.

  11. I really want to be a vegetarian, but my parents say I'm too young ( Im 16) even though I had tried to convince them that I'm not. I'm reducing the amount of meat I eat, and as soon as I move out, I'll be a vegetarian 😊

  12. Morons … what do you think gets put on plants you eat? Manure. Reduce meat and you lose your plants. You also kill the global market and crash the world economy.

  13. Us meat eaters only get mad when we got nutty vegetarians in our faces lecturing us about our meat eating. Let us enjoy being the omnivores we were designed to be.🥩🥬🍴

  14. GHG emissions : 28,5% cars, 28,4% electricity generation, 21,6% industry, 6,4% commercial, 5,1% residental, 4,7% ag crops, 3,9% ag livestock , source : US EPA

  15. I think it would increase the amount of wild pigs, and other few aggressive animals we eat. But for Africa it would increase the population of wild animals such has tigers and lions. Thus the increase of that amount (in Africa or other wildlife prone countries) of danger the people would have. For the US it doesn't seem like that huge of a thing – but for other countries that have large amounts of wildlife this could be life threatening.

  16. We don’t need the entire world to either go vegetarian or non vegetarian or vegan. A perfect balance between the three is what is essential .

  17. The cows and chickens would still be needed. Dairy and eggs. The pigs could be reintroduced into the wild like the wild boar.

  18. They forgot about how if kids don’t develop right if they are raised vegan, so having a world full of weak pathetic people is the down side. Veganism will destroy the earth!

  19. I would love to see a video from you guys on the science of Regenerative Agriculture. From my experience on our ranch and others, this style of AG can and will reverse climate change, sequester the worlds carbon and literally save us from the rampant horrors of the global ignorance involved with a factory style food system which is the underlying problem. Regenerative AG practices will hault the conversion of our forests and grasslands into crap, instead lets use nomadic livestock grazing and highly selective logging as a tool to make them healthy again.

  20. Awe, cute video. Someone spent some time on this, however, there is some misrepresentation of the health on being all vegetarian and the elimination of chickens, ruminants, and other meat products. I love, love, love, my vegetables, but the need for amino acids that keep me healthy that are not found in plants is essential. Back in 4th grade, we learned the importance of the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle helps the ground trap CO2… and keep our soil able to produce Plus, there is much more to the story they are telling you. While going all vegetarian sounds warm and fuzzy, it will cause more problems than solve. I love my vegetarian friends, but going vegetarian isn’t for most people. Plant rich healthy diets, yes, no meat… not so much,

    https://youtu.be/cRmwobXCc4c

  21. Recently decided to become vegetarian because I feel a lot of guilt about my personal impact on the earth, excited to start this new lifestyle!

  22. ForeverCursedSoul Disgusting forever eat animalbody. Demons hide secret. God n human can live just by vegetable. Freemason is a demonspecies not only uglyface but BLoodTestresult is different from humankind. cant live without eatinganimal cuz cant make cholesterol. demonblood=no HDLcholesterol

  23. This video just shows one aspect , what about the overpopulation of species which will cause imbalance in the ecosystem since all their predators decided to turn fuckin vegetarian.

  24. “Without people to eat them whole herds of animals would disappear.” Hun they’d all be put down. They wouldn’t just disappear. There would be mass graves of rotting corpses.

  25. – massive amounts of animals would be slaughtered for no reason and left to rot
    – millions would be laid off
    – there would be even less food to go around until to new crop could be grown
    – lots of game land would likely turn to desert because I doubt anyone would care
    – millions would be iron deficient and people with a varies of plant allergies would suffer
    – massive amounts of pests would be poisoned, trapped and hunted to protect crop.
    And this video ignores dairy cows and laying hens.

  26. Feeding animals the wrong food which messes with their digestive systems causing gas causes 15% of green house omissions***

  27. well if you are vegetarian you also drink milk and eat cheese, so animals like cows sheeps and goats would still be needed

  28. For me it's OK to be vegan or vegetarian for the environment or for reducing the amount of meat companies produse BUT
    animals kill other animals too, it's our nature to kill animals for food just we need to eat less meat than we already eat!

  29. The world should go Vegan, ban plastic (and other bad stuff that harms this world), and walk more when you actually can. (Where using a vehicle could be unnecessary)

  30. Eating eggs and dairy is just as bad for the animals!! You should look into it!🥺 And in the end! Once they cannot exploit the animals any more their sent to the slaughter houses which is where the meat you dont eat comes from! So the more dairy and eggs the public buy and consume, the more the workers hafto provide the more animals they hafto rape into existence the more animals are killed and exploited and shot in the head and murdered😣💔💔👐🐓🌱🌱

  31. You vegans love animals such as cows when you stuff yourself with the food they are supposed to eat.
    Vegans are one of the reasons why the Earth isn't green anymore

  32. If animals have rights then why can’t plants have rights too? I mean we technically slave them in crop fields and force them to produce food for us in massive quantities and in an inhumane way 🙁

    just like chickens

  33. Hello, I would like to inform you of that meat contains essential vitamins and nutrients and vegetarians and vegans miss out on the essential vitamins and nutrients which can make them very ill. As I eat a lot of meat I get a lot of the essential vitamins and nutrients which means I eat healthy food.

  34. I'm watching this video to make me happy again about being vegetarian after getting into a heated argument with a bunch of close-minded kids who's arguments were along the lines of "if we weren't supposed to eat meat, why does it taste good?"

  35. when people say that if we didn't eat meat then there would be more land to grow trees then whats the point in eating meat? just ask yourself that question. When people say that "we don't get enough nutrients" well this is either an excuse or they don't know about all the vitamins that you can eat and that provide the same amount of nutrition as eating meat but better because a plant-based diet reduces the risk of you getting chronic diseases. And also we have so many alternatives now that we don't "need" to eat meat then reason we eat it is because we have been brought up on meat so we think of it as "normal" which is totally incorrect. Thanks for reading this comment (I'm vegan)

  36. My ancestors been eating meat for of Tens of thousands of years,and if I’m here,meat was clearly doing something for them.

  37. I swear these videos makes me wanna scream. It’s so unfair that most don’t understand the importance of global warming and even more that there are some who do but still do nothing about it. Go vegetarian or vegan guys! It can help the planet so so much and it’s really really not that hard, my word! and if it is for you, just reduce the amount of meat you eat! Please! For the sake of OUR FUTURE! 🌍🌱

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