Environmental Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Not only does eating a vegetarian diet come with lots of health benefits but it’s also one of the best things you can do to stop climate change.

Below is a list of environmental benefits of eating a vegetarian diet:

Reduce Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to, Poore, J and Nemecek, T (2018), the whole food production process of farm-to-plate is around 26% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. This means, by replacing meat with vegetarian sources of protein, (nuts, seeds, beans and lentils, for example), we can reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Requires Less Land

Agriculture takes up half of the world’s habitable land. However, meat-eaters use far more space than vegetarians. Livestock accounts for about 80% of global agricultural land but produces less than 20% of the world’s calories. Meanwhile, plants continue to supply us with more calories and protein, even though they only take up 23% of habitable land. 

Produces Fewer Emissions

Like trees, crops produce oxygen, which is incredibly beneficial to the environment however animals produce methane, nitrous oxide, and other gasses that pollute the air, warm the earth, and accelerate climate change. In addition, the entire process of producing, packaging, and transporting meat also produces more emissions than it does to process plants.

Conserves Water

Today, one in nine people lack access to safe water as farming uses more than 70% of the world’s stores. Most of this water goes towards raising livestock. One pound of meat requires 2,400 gallons, and large pig farms may need as much water as an entire city. Meanwhile, producing one pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons of water. 

Vegetarian Recipes at Tops Day Nurseries

We have introduced vegan and vegetarian meals throughout Tops. These meals are offered on rotation, and usually there is a vegan meal available once a week, accompanied by an additional vegetarian choice too. There is no doubt that humans reducing their meat and fish consumption is the best thing for the planet, and therefore for children’s long term future.

There is absolutely no question that great nutrition can be provided for all children during the day at nursery with a plant based diet, although we are still offering dairy and eggs, given the nut and other allergies being faced by so many children. And if parents do want to offer burgers and fish fingers, and even steak, they can still do this, knowing that their child’s impact on the planet has already been reduced while at Tops, which gives more freedom of choice at home and out and about.

To view some of our vegetarian recipes click here.

Posted in: General, Recipes & Nursery menus, Sustainability, Tops Cooking School