Research: Eating Vegetables Can Save the World

May 9, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. generate / ˈdʒɛn əˌreɪt / [JEN-uh-reyt] (v.) – to bring about
Example: New clean-up policies in the community generated good results.

2. exclude / ɪkˈsklud / (v.) – to keep something out
Example: Her diet excludes all sorts of meat.

3. dairy / ˈdɛər I / (adj.) – relating to milk
Example: Common dairy products include milk and butter.

4. livestock / ˈlaɪvˌstɒk / (n.) – animals raised in farms
Example: My uncle breeds cows, goats, and other livestock.

5. intake / ˈɪnˌteɪk / (n.) – the amount that is taken in
Example: High intake of meat can be harmful.


Read the text below.
A new research has found that shifting to a plant-based diet can help save the environment, as well as the human race, study says.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), focused on how the level of meat consumption can affect people’s health and the environment. The results revealed that the lowest level of meat consumption can generate the greatest positive effects, suggesting that giving up meat completely can possibly save the world.

Furthermore, the research found that the environment could benefit the most if many adopted a vegan diet, which excludes all animal products, such as eggs and dairy products, along with meat. Unlike veganism, vegetarianism still allows the consumption of dairy products such as milk and eggs.

A no-meat diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as 14% of the total emissions worldwide come from producing meat and other products from livestock. Most of these emissions come from the production of milk and beef, followed by pork and poultry products. The research calculated that by 2050, global greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 70% if the world became predominantly vegan.

Veganism and vegetarianism can also save millions of lives because of their health benefits. The research found that people in South Asia and some parts of Africa would benefit from higher fruit and vegetable intake. On the other hand, those in East Asia, Latin America, and high-income Western countries would benefit from reduced meat consumption, which is currently high in these countries.

The highest level of meat consumption is observed in the United States. Although consumption has declined in the past years, recent data showed that lower meat prices are boosting red meat consumption again.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that people will shift to a plant-based diet after finding out about the study? Why or why not?
·         If you were to shift to a plant-based diet, which would you choose: veganism or vegetarianism? Why?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that a diet with only vegetables and fruits is healthy? Why or why not?
·         What are the possible disadvantages of excluding certain food from one’s diet? Discuss.

May 9, 2016