A turkey Christmas dinner emits twice as many greenhouse gases into the environment as a vegan roast, new findings reveal.
Dr Harwatt – a Harvard University research fellow working with Humane Society International UK – found that a roast turkey dinner for a family of six, served with goose fat roasted potatoes, pigs in blankets, and meat-based stuffing and gravy, emits 23.5 kilograms of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). This is the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted when driving 78.5 miles in a standard UK petrol car.
The study found that if 85 percent of Brits – those who usually consume animal products at Christmas – opted instead for plant-based options, 131 million kilograms of CO2e would be prevented from entering the atmosphere. These emissions, caused by one meal on one day, are the equivalent of driving 438 million miles – this would be like driving from Land’s End, the most southern point of England, to John O’Groats, the more northern point in Scotland, nearly 524 times.
By contrast, a vegan nut roast plus roast potatoes cooked in vegetable oil, vegan pigs in blankets, sage and onion stuffing, and vegetable gravy to feed six emits only 9.5 kilograms of CO2e – the same as driving 31.6 miles.
This latest evidence reinforces previous findings that a vegan diet can reduce one’s environmental impact by up to 84 percent, and that a global move away from meat and dairy could cut greenhouse gas emissions by half.
The Huffington Post also noted that if all Brits opted for a plant-based Christmas dinner, two million turkeys and 125,000 pigs would be saved from slaughter.
Vegan Christmas Dinner Options
The expansive range of vegan-friendly Christmas dinner offerings now available in major retailers makes it easier than ever for consumers to eat consciously this festive season.
Tesco even launched a recipe app to help people cook plant-based Christmas feasts, supplementing its product offerings which include cauliflower wellington, butternut squash entrees, and vegetable-filled pastry rolls.
Iceland launched a vegan turkey Christmas Dinner for one, while ASDA’s festive range includes a vegan cheese board. Waitrose & Partners’ range includes Caramelised Onion & Tomato Tarte Tatins and Beet Wellingtons for mains, and Morrisons is selling a vegan alternative to pigs in blankets.
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