A shift towards environmental vegetarianism


Carly Lundry

Carly Lundry shows her passion for going meat-free to protect the environment.

Taylor English, Staff Contributor

As environmental concerns grow in prevalence, people have turned to vegetarianism as a way to make individual contributions to the planet.

Reports of a changing planet have pushed many people toward environmental activism. This shift is most visible in the many young activists leading the climate activism charge. People like Greta Thunberg have made their voices heard on the matter. Making radical changes to one’s lifestyle has worked for some, but many others have searched for ways to make a small impact in their daily lives. 

Vegetarianism has become popular for a variety of reasons including its part in many fad diets and the movement to end animal cruelty. This way of eating can also benefit the environment. Senior Olivia Marchiori is a vegan and is encouraged to continue her animal product free diet because of the effects of the meat industry on the environment. “It only increases my motivation to not eat meat,” she said.

Marchiori thinks more youth will begin to follow a plant-based diet as they learn more about the current environmental issues. “As the world starts to notice the environment’s decline I can see more of my friends becoming non meat-eaters,” she said. “When videos about the milk and meat industries are spread it encourages more students to go vegan or vegetarian.”

The environmental effects of these industries are significant. The livestock industry produces large amounts of many gases, including carbon dioxide: a large contributor to global warming. A United Nations report attributed more greenhouse gas production to the livestock industry than to every car and truck combined. Vegetarianism could make a difference.

Marchiori thinks the power of youth to create change can be used to combat these problems. “I think we are arguably the most important factor. Like other epidemics, how we react and make changes to fix the issue sets a tone for other generations,” she said. The decision to eat meat or not is an individual one, but many young activists are using their diet to benefit their planet.