What would happen if everyone in the world became a vegetarian?

There are estimated to be up to seven million people following a vegetarian or vegan diet in the UK.

But what would life be like if everyone on planet Earth followed their lead and ditched meat? A new video from AsapSCIENCE has been trying to work out just that.

They estimate that there are currently 20bn chickens and 1.5bn cows, as well as a billion sheep and pigs around the world - so here's what would happen if we stopped eating them:


Climate

So most of those aforementioned animals would be gone and all the land they use up (about the size of the entire African continent) would be freed up for other crops.

The beef industry alone is thought to be responsible for more carbon emissions than all the cars on the planet. As the video points out, giving up meat may be one of the best strategies for tackling global warming.

Water consumption

It is estimated that for every cow that is made into beef (remember there are about 1.5bn of them out there), it takes 15,000 litres of water to help them grow and for the land they graze.

Any drawbacks?

While all this sounds great so far, there are a couple of issues:

e'd lose out any the many handy by-products we get from the meat industry like leather and animal fats.

The video also points out that "raising and processing" animals is a full-time job for an estimated 1bn people across the globe and new jobs would need to be found for many of them.

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