Oxford Study: The More Plants and Fewer Animal Products we Consume, the Greater the Health, Economic, and Emissions Benefits

Health benefits:

Moving to diets with fewer animal-sourced foods would have major health benefits (Fig. 1A). Compared with the reference scenario, we project that adoption of global dietary guidelines (HGD) would result in 5.1 million avoided deaths per year [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.8–5.5 million] and 79 million years of life saved (CI, 75–83 million) (Fig. 1Aand SI Appendix). The equivalent figures for the vegetarian (VGT) diet are 7.3 million avoided deaths (CI, 7.0–7.6 million) and 114 million life years saved (CI, 111–118 million) and for the vegan (VGN) diet 8.1 million avoided deaths (CI, 7.8–8.5 million) and 129 million life years saved (CI, 125–133 million).

Economic benefits:

The value-of-statistical-life approach led to much higher estimates of the economic benefits associated with dietary change (Fig. 2). For the HGD scenario, we estimate that the monetized value associated with diet-related changes in mortality amount to 21 trillion (or 1012) US dollars per year ($21 trillion⋅y−1) in 2050 with a range (again reflecting uncertainties in the methodology) of $10–31 trillion⋅y−1. The values we obtain for the VGT diet are $28 trillion⋅y−1 ($14–42 trillion⋅y−1), and for the VGN diet $30 trillion⋅y–1 ($15–46 trillion⋅y−1).

The benefits were greater for diets with fewer animal-sourced foods: for VGT, $511 billion⋅y−1 ($194–1,589 billion⋅y−1) and, for VGN, $570 billion⋅y−1 ($217–1,773 billion⋅y−1). As a percentage of expected world GDP in 2050, the benefits amounted to 0.10% (0.04–0.32%) for HGD diets, 0.22% (0.08–0.69%) for VGT diets, and 0.25% (0.09–0.77%) for VGN diets.


Emissions benefits:

In relation to an emissions pathway that is believed to be likely to limit global temperature increase to below 2 °C (32), we project that the ratio of food-related GHG emissions to GHG emissions from all sources increases from 16% in 2005/2007 to 52%, 37%, 19%, and 15% in 2050 in the REF, HGD, VGT, and VGN scenarios, respectively (SI Appendix, Fig. S6 and section SI.3).

The above study is recent, but these benefits have long been known and supported by the balance of scientific evidence.  On top of which we have long since known it is not philosophically justifiable to harm sentient beings for reasons of pleasure (or habit, tradition, etc).  (Reasons of pleasure include: we think they taste good or that they look good decorating our bodies – ie leather shoes, belts – etc.)

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  • Jack O’malley

    thank you, mr. barsocchini- exactly, the insanity of the torture and brutal, violent slaughter of sentient beings is insane- the insanity has to end-go vegan

    • Mencken’s Ghost

      Animals haven’t demonstrated sentience and they eat each other. Are you going to arrest and imprison lions into re-education camps and force veganism on them for murdering “sentient” gazelles? And if you think sentient beings shouldn’t be casually killed, are you against abortion? And since when can the establishment – Oxford U. in this case – be trusted to do anything other than support the NWO plan to eradicate most of sentient humanity? Are you sure YOU’RE sentient? I’m not.

      • Jack O’malley

        your rationalization isn’t rational nor logical- throwing the nwo around gives you no credibility- i agree, you are not sentient, you’re a brainwashed tool of your aforementioned nwo

        • Mencken’s Ghost

          “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country…We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of….We are dominated by a relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

          ~ Edward Bernays

          • kimyo

            it’s one thing when an engineer uses known properties of steel and concrete to model the failure point of a bridge. she can state, with confidence ‘this bridge can accomodate 200,000 cars and trucks a day’. she will also state, the margin of error is plus or minus x.

            and she will be right, and provably so, because she has precise measurements of the bridge, tests done on the steel, and she has an enormous history of bridge designs/failures to draw upon.

            it is an entirely different thing, and clearly not science, to say ‘my computer model shows economic conditions will be X in 2050’. the starting, raw data is all corrupted. what’s the margin of error on 195 countries reported gdp? employment? does the gdp include black market weapons/drug sales? that money ends up in wall street banks.

            what about the trillions missing from the defense department’s budget? do the derivatives the wall street banks hold have any value? in some cases, bundles of mortgages were sliced up and sold multiple times to multiple buyers. do their holdings have any value?

            if you feed your model garbage, it can only deliver garbage.

            as dr. springer adds more code and data in next year, and then ‘fine-tunes’ his model to match, he, somehow, (hubris?) will remain blissfully unaware that he’s fine-tuning his output using garbage. a real scientist doing peer review, upon observing the imprecision inherent in the data, would block it from publication without a second glance.

            No, Economics Is Not a Science

            Economists have faced a deluge of negative press in the past few years, ranging from criticisms over the failure to forecast the financial crisis, to the more recent disbelief over the granting of the Nobel Prize in Economics to three economists, two of whom hold views that can be said to be polar opposites.

            In fact, in a strict sense, economics does not even follow the scientific method. Engrained in the scientific method is the process of testing hypotheses with repeatable, falsifiable, and parameter-controlled experiments. Unfortunately for the field of economics, there are certain non-trivial barriers to experimentally tanking the Czechoslovakian economy over and over while controlling for interest rate levels. Oftentimes, the best economists can do is sit back and pore through the data given to them—data that is muddled by changing cultural standards, changing technological innovations, and changing time periods, among other factors.

            It is unique in the sense that economics fuses quantitative data and modeling with qualitative judgments; unlike in physics or chemistry, economics appends an implied “therefore…” statement to its conclusions.

            Economics is not a science in the way that physics or chemistry is a science.

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