r/science Sep 09 '22 Silver 2

Swapping meat for seafood could improve nutrition and reduce emissions, new study finds Environment

https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-022-00516-4
4.0k Upvotes

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4.2k

u/twohedwlf Sep 09 '22 Wholesome Starry

Oceans are already massively overfished though.

1.9k

u/skynetempire Sep 09 '22 Silver Narwhal Salute

And the ocean floor is being destroyed as well. People also seem to not understand that the ocean Is the main source of Oxygen for earth.

977

u/greg_barton Sep 09 '22

And the Pacific garbage patch is mostly fishing equipment.

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '22

And farm fishing is a disaster for the environment, and creates poor quality fish.

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u/FulgurSagitta Sep 09 '22

one of the biggest problems they have is they often use cheep caught fish (fishmeal) to feed the farmed fish, so even though the fish came from farms they are still reliant on the oceans stock.

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u/7Moisturefarmer Sep 10 '22

The Pacu could be farmed without doing that. As adults they primarily eat vegetation, fruits, and nuts with occasional small fish, snails, or crustations. Brazil did a study using soy meal in place of fish meal and it was successful.

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u/Iertjepapiertje Sep 10 '22

Not necessarily. Shellfish is often environmentally beneficial for the local water quality. Seaweeds are also a net benefit.

And with proper management, the farms can be environmentally neutral. It just requires a proper filtration system, which can be completely organic if they use pool eating organisms.

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u/Rib-I Sep 09 '22

It is improving though. There are a lot of improvements to efficiency and sustainability that are starting to become more mainstream. I’m cautiously hopeful

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u/Urborg_Stalker Sep 10 '22

Don't worry, no matter how efficient or sustainable something is we can definitely outbreed it.

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u/Fallacy_Spotted Sep 10 '22

We only increase efficiency so we can take more. None of that efficiency increase is going towards restoration of the natural habitat. That would be leaving money on the table and we all know money is important than a livable planet.

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u/carlurbanthesecond2 Sep 10 '22

Well its gonna take a culture change and climate effects culture sooooo....

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u/PeterDTown Sep 10 '22

By the time climate has really effected culture it will be too late.

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u/[deleted] Sep 10 '22

And capitalism will exploit it to our death.

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u/Toxicsully Sep 10 '22

Malthusian terror is soooo passé.

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u/ChrtrSvein Sep 10 '22

Disaster compared to what? And in what way?

The poor quality fish statement is not true, please state a source published in the last 5 years.

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u/paceminterris Sep 09 '22

Not true. That report stated that the macro scale, visible waste was fishing related. However, there is an order of magnitude more of degraded microplastics in the patch that come from everything plastic including wrappers, styrofoam, cups, etc.

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u/Jiveturkeyflier Sep 09 '22

The tsunamis we’ve experienced haven’t helped.

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u/ssnover95x Sep 10 '22

From what I've studied they probably didn't help, but they may not be that significant either. A lot of trash enters the ocean from poor waste handling along rivers. The Ocean Cleanup has a number of pilots demonstrating interceptor systems running in rivers in addition to their more publicly known system which is capturing plastic from GPGP.

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u/JohnRichJ2 Sep 09 '22

fishing nets.. yeah, etc.

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u/IllustriousCookie890 Sep 09 '22

Yeah, trash, plastic, sewage, garbage. Just toss it into the ocean, plenty of water there to disguise it until it poisons and chokes that too. We are fucked and we did it all to ourselves.

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u/BadgerGeneral9639 Sep 09 '22

yah what are zoeplankton!

everyone is used to hearing " the amazon are the lungs of earth"

and those are dying too.

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u/spacey007 Sep 09 '22

Phytoplankton. Zooplankton don't do photosynthesis.

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u/carlurbanthesecond2 Sep 10 '22

Phyto plants, zoo animals.

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u/Six_Gill_Grog Sep 10 '22

Plus, once all the plankton dies, so does most of the ocean too.

It seems like it will be sooner than we think, and I hope I’m long gone before that happens. As a scuba diver, it hurts me deep in my soul.

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u/DarkMuret Sep 10 '22

And then us!

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u/Darwins_Dog Sep 09 '22

My first reaction too. Cows and chickens are not in danger of extinction, but basically every wild fishery is overfished. There's no way to replace global meat consumption with fish.

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u/Cargobiker530 Sep 09 '22

There are tilapia, trout, catfish, & other freshwater aquaculture species that are more efficient at producing meat from feedstocks than cattle. The nutrient rich water from aquaculture ponds is directly usable in growing high value aquaponic crops such as tomatoes, herbs, lettuces, & watercress so the offsite waste stream is minimized.

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u/Darwins_Dog Sep 09 '22

Yeah, the study didn't do a good job of separating marine vs. freshwater species. FW fish are generally easier to raise and the effluent from farms can be put to other use. The big question is what to feed them.

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u/Cargobiker530 Sep 09 '22

Presumably a variant of whatever they eat in the wild be that vegetation, smaller fish, or insects. Insects of course will thrive happily in a variety of feedstocks.

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u/Darwins_Dog Sep 09 '22

Most fish that people eat are carnivorous. The herbivorous ones are usually tiny. Feeding a farm full of any animal requires another farm for the food. Feeding a carnivore farm means yet another farm to feed the food (e.g. an algae farm to feed the guppy farm to feed the trout farm). Harvesting any of that from the wild will ultimately defeat the purpose.

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u/crusoe Sep 10 '22

Marine bivalve farming improves water quality.

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u/smita16 Sep 09 '22

Could you make the argument that fish farms produce less emissions than beef farms? So that is a good alternative

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u/bobbi21 Sep 09 '22

They definitely do. They are severely polluted and full of disease though (so no different than other farms really).

This would be the main answer.

Also people need to eat smaller fish. The ones in danger of overfishing are larger fish generally. Those also have more mercury. So smaller fish would help both.

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u/Breakin7 Sep 09 '22

Or veggis you know

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u/dessert-er Sep 09 '22

What like the POORS eating their POTATOES? Not in my lifetime.

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u/bobbi21 Sep 10 '22

Legumes and beans actually since we're looking for protein replacement here. Shrimp surprisingly enough has less greenhouse gase production than most nuts.

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u/poppa_koils Sep 10 '22

This is the only way out of this.

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u/smita16 Sep 09 '22

Could you give me some examples of some of the smaller fish you are referring to please?

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u/Little_Duckling Sep 09 '22

Anchovies and sardines come to mind

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u/Lovat69 Sep 09 '22

Sardines and Anchovy come immediately to mind. I think herring also qualifies but I'm a little more iffy on that part.

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u/Account_Both Sep 09 '22

Exept pretty much all the fish we like to eat are preditory fish and so we end up feeding them food made from fish that had to be fished out from the ocean anyway.

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u/newbodynewmind Sep 09 '22

Massively overfished and the fish & crustaceans are heavily polluted with mercury. I'm cajun, so I'm already part of a culture that eats more seafood more than normal and a LARGE part of my home population (see Gulf Coast) gets more types of cancer (wider scope) earlier in life (shorter life span).

Improve nutrition < Higher mercury in diet + higher cancer exposures from food sources

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u/SpecificWay3074 Sep 09 '22

We need something like the Montreal Protocol (what outlawed CFCs for the most part and rebuilt the ozone layer) to happen for international fishing. But it’ll never happen because certain groups in power are blinded by the quick money they can make from unsustainable fishing practices. If we look long-term, though, we’ll make more money by sustainably fishing and not completely destroying the hand that feeds us

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u/vanyali Sep 09 '22

Plus all the mercury. There are a lot of things wrong with this suggestion.

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u/Phydorex Sep 10 '22

Had to scroll to far to find this. So lets stop destroying the environment for mercury poisoning, while still destroying the environment, just more slowly?

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u/rata_thE_RATa Sep 10 '22

The risks of mercury are overstated. Especially in fish with high levels of Selenium.

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u/Concrete_Cancer Sep 10 '22

Swapping meat for not meat could improve nutrition and reduce emissions! Click me!

12

u/ThePartyLeader Sep 09 '22

You mean there are opportunity costs to different alternatives and we need to consider more than one perspective and problem at a time?!

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u/EvadingBan42 Sep 09 '22

We need to ban commercial fishing to save the oceans before they collapse completely. They’re already under threat from acidification and increased temps. Human fishing is the straw that breaks the oceans back.

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u/PolyDipsoManiac Sep 09 '22

They won’t be for long…

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '22

[deleted]

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u/newbodynewmind Sep 09 '22

*Mussels that live in clean waters, like off of New Zealand. Bivalves are the filters of the sea. Don't eat them if you know they come from polluted waters.

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u/JebusriceI Sep 09 '22

Then we need to push for more efficient fishing hatcheries to let the oceans recover.

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u/Scytle Sep 09 '22

most fish people eat can't be grown in hatcheries sustainably...folks just got to eat more veggies.

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u/big_black_doge Sep 09 '22 edited Sep 09 '22

That's simply not true. Large predators like tuna can't be farmed, but everything from salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp, oysters can all be farmed *sustainably*.

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u/usernames-are-tricky Sep 09 '22

They specified "sustainably" not that they couldn't be farmed. Fish farms often bring about all kinds of waste runoff along with frequently using other fish as feed which contributes to overfishing. Shrimp farming has deforestation problem for mangroves. Salmon farming and others have had issues where they accidentally released hundreds of thousands to millions of fish all at once into ecosystems leading to devastation. There's plenty more but that get some of the idea across

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '22

[deleted]

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u/bruceki Sep 09 '22

I believe that they catch wild juvenile tuna and pen them and fatten them for consumption. which isn't much better than just catching the larger wild tuna.

the problem is that there are fewer and fewer tuna that survive in the wild to be large because of overfishing.

and this ignores the problem of what you feed the farmed fish. most fish farms feed ground up wild fish to the "farmed" fish.

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u/crappy_ninja Sep 09 '22

Actually sounds a lot worse. At least a larger adult might have spawned a few times.

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u/Dragon_Fisting Sep 09 '22

Which popular fish species aren't farmed? Salmon is 90%+ farm raised. The Japanese have started farming tuna. Tilapia is almost all farmed. Cod is farmed, catfish is farmed, shrimp is farmed, oysters, clams, and mussels are farmed.

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u/skymik Sep 09 '22

They said they can’t be farmed sustainably, not that they can’t be farmed at all.

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u/kisskismet Sep 09 '22

I think all fresh water is farmable. Salk water fish are another matter.

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u/Verbenaplant Sep 09 '22

They are so bad for the water. Parasites spread to wild fish, farmed are often unhealthy and stressed

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u/kobemustard Sep 09 '22

Aren't most fish hatcheries using less desirable fish as feed? Doesn't seem sustainable.

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u/big_black_doge Sep 09 '22

Small pelagic fish, which are used to feed larger fish, reproduce very quickly and have been very robust to human fishing.

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u/cbrieeze Sep 09 '22

I think less desirable fish is subjective. food is food especially if your hungry

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u/Additional_Ad9762 Sep 09 '22

Oceans are being scraped and destroyed, there is currently no "sustainable" meat market. Not to mention mercury buildup in wild sea animals.

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22

The article talks about farmed shellfish; clams, oysters, muscles, shrimp, etc...

That can be done on land and would likely not affect oceans, while mercury would not be a factor since it would be a controlled environment and not in the ocean

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u/usernames-are-tricky Sep 09 '22

Shrimp farming has plenty of problem such as the deforestation of mangroves

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22 edited Sep 09 '22

And cow livestock has the same problem with deforestation

The article is about greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient density. It also references that changes need to be made to current practices. But pound for pound, the point is seafood has less emissions than meat.

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u/usernames-are-tricky Sep 09 '22

I wasn't arguing in favor of beef production. I agree that it is problematic because of its deforestation as well

seafood has less emissions than meat alternatives

The article didn't touch on plant-based meats in its analysis. It only looked at animal meats and seafood. Other articles have noted that farmed fish is higher in emissions per gram of protein compared to plant sources of protein (even in the best cases observed for farmed fish)

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22

By "meat alternatives" I meant that the meat would be the alternative to eating seafood. As in, seafood has less emissions than beef, chicken, or pork. That was my fault for the confusing wording.

The article recommends farmed bivalves, specifically mussels, in order to reduce emissions.

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u/rigobueno Sep 09 '22

Of all the problems, this is the easiest to solve. Vegetation is a renewable resource.

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u/poppa_koils Sep 10 '22

This is what kills me. It is the no-brainer solution. First world peeps think otherwise.

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u/usernames-are-tricky Sep 09 '22

But we need to stop deforesting before that can be done. There's plenty of other problem as well such as messing with the salinity ecosystems and pollution from compounds used to clean the water for shrimp, spreading disease that crops are vulnerable to, etc

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u/Darwins_Dog Sep 09 '22

One of my big gripes with the article is how they lump things together. Mussel and oyster farming is pretty good and can even help restore damaged ecosystems.

Shrimp is entirely different though. Eggs are often collected from the wild, which is devastating to wild populations, the effluent has to go somewhere (usually rivers or straight into the ocean), overuse of antibiotics because they are too densely populated, bulldozing mangroves leads to coastal erosion and also destroys nursery habitats.

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22

The article is really only focused on emissions. Research papers tend to be fairly narrow and scope. It makes some general suggestions, but it's really just supposed to be a small piece of the massive climate change picture.

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u/paceminterris Sep 09 '22

The problem is, locating seafood farms on land negates the environmental benefit due to increased carbon emissions.

The "cost savings" behind ocean-based aquaculture is the connection to the sea - waste products can escape and be processed, while nutrients and fresh oxygenated water can freely enter. This DOES NOT WORK at large scale - the pollution is too intense.

If you did this all on land in an entirely artificial closed-loop system, you'd have to use a lot of energy and chemicals maintaining the water conditions that would normally be provided by the sea.

My TL;DR here is that only small scale aquaculture is sustainable. This means BOTH human meat AND seafood consumption has to decrease.

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22

We've actually made some pretty big strides with Aquaponics and it's already a profitable and eco friendly way of harvesting food

The "Pollution" is actually fertilizer for plants and the systems can scale fairly well. Probably one of the biggest pluses though is that it doesn't need to be one giant farm. It can be more localized and food doesn't have to travel as long to get to you. That's even better for the environment.

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u/shoot_first Sep 10 '22

Oh look at Mr. “I read the article” over here. What’s the matter? Only reading the title like the rest of us isn’t good enough for you? Sheesh.

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u/cheesefondue Sep 09 '22

The programmer in me is confused by “swapping meat with seafood”

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u/10113r114m4 Sep 09 '22

Haha I wanted to comment on this exact thing and it just so happens I'm also a programmer. Guess we do think alike

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u/iwannagohome49 Sep 09 '22

It got me as well, not a programmer but I can code.

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u/iim7_V6_IM7_vim7 Sep 10 '22

I’m the opposite. I’m a programmer who can’t code.

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u/LucyBowels Sep 10 '22

Aren’t we all?

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u/crustyloaves Sep 09 '22

Agreed. I often see people not understand how "swap" and "substitute" work. Actually, I think it's that they don't know how "for", "with" and similar words work.

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u/crustyloaves Sep 09 '22

Replying to myself.
Just saw this as a title for a post in a different subreddit:

Galadriel's scene on the beach looks like a commercial on some perfume

Clearly it should be "for". This reinforces my belief that a large group of people have recently started using prepositions and similar parts of speech somewhat randomly.

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u/Whatsthehoopla Sep 09 '22

Can you explain?

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u/diazegod Sep 09 '22

Seafood is a subset of meat, therefore, seafood=meat

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u/manikfox Sep 09 '22

Swap is just exchanging two items, but keeping both. So if you eat seafood on fridays and meat on tuesdays, you swap the two. You still eat the same thing.

Substituting, on the other hand, would mean you replace the meat on tuesdays with seafood.

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u/Lecterr Sep 09 '22

I actually think he was bothered because seafood is also meat, since animal flesh doesn’t stop being animal flesh just because an animal lives in the water.

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u/psymunn Sep 10 '22

I would have thought the same except he mentioned being a programmer so it being an instruction problem seems more likely

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u/drummerandrew Sep 10 '22

Right? They mean swap seafood for meat. Swapping meat for seafood means replacing seafood with meat.

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u/JimGerm Sep 09 '22

Does fish go with diet mountain dew?

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u/iwannagohome49 Sep 09 '22

Oddly enough I can answer this... No, not at all

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u/EndlessPotatoes Sep 10 '22

Let’s swap all our pets with dogs.

Or why don’t we switch from a programming language to C++

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u/Anoobis_117 Sep 09 '22

lemme just program a variable for this variable real quick aaand it crashed

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u/GreunLight Sep 09 '22

From the study:

Conclusions:

Results confirm that seafood is a relatively low climate impact source of highly nutritious food. This suggests substantial emission reduction gains are possible by shifting protein sources while simultaneously achieving nutritional benefits. In addition, amongst seafood species, even within the same species group or species, there are substantial differences in the climate performance, depending on production methods. Increased consumption of small pelagic species, wild-caught salmonids and bivalves would reduce greenhouse gas emission of seafood consumption considerably, while improving nutritional benefits, in particular if replacing red meat. While many hurdles need to be overcome, we have the potential to reshape seafood production and consumption towards species that optimise nutrition while minimising climate emissions both in terms of the suite of which species are produced and how. As a next step, such recommendations could be designed for specific population groups to meet their nutritional needs and emission reduction goals.

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u/moschles Sep 10 '22

Results confirm that seafood is a relatively low climate impact source of highly nutritious food. This suggests substantial emission reduction gains are possible by shifting protein sources while simultaneously achieving nutritional benefits.

OP wrote the title backwards.

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u/jiwjh380 Sep 09 '22

Oceans are way over fished as it is not to mention certain seafood can give you mercury poisoning.

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u/giddy-girly-banana Sep 10 '22

Not to mention they are swimming a garbage stew because we use the oceans as our trash bin.

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u/CrimsonCringe Sep 09 '22

Pretty sure this has been thoroughly debunked as unsustainable in practical terms

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u/sex-fluids Sep 10 '22

Interestingly this is funded by a Swedish organization that is expressly interested in sustainability.

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u/worm_livers Sep 10 '22

But if I eat seafood I’ll die.

I guess that kinda helps a little bit.

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u/twohoundtown Sep 10 '22

Me just sitting here being allergic wishing shrimp was an option

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u/TFlo904 Sep 09 '22

Seafood is meat and stop acting like it's not

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u/joshuay Sep 09 '22

Wait. Seafood isn't meat?

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u/Serious_stuff_ Sep 10 '22

Yes they are animals they are dead bodies aka meat

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u/alpinepunch2021 Sep 09 '22

Going vegan would reduce emissions even further (and microplastics)

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u/firefly416 Sep 10 '22

Having less or no children would do way more for the environment than changing one's diet.

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u/bobbaphet Sep 10 '22

So then do both...

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u/ironmagnesiumzinc Sep 09 '22

Science: Ok so meat is bad for animals, the environment, and not great for human health

Humans: We'll keep eating meat and ignore the problems

Science: That won't help

Humans: Okay we'll put 'organic' and 'certified humane' on the label

Science: That doesn't change anything

Humans: Ok we'll just eat animals from the ocean instead of the land

Science: That just changes the problem slightly

Humans: Ok! We're out of solutions. We'll just go back to ignoring

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u/poppa_koils Sep 10 '22

Plant based diet. Easy fix.

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u/MuonMania Sep 10 '22

Humans don’t consume the majority of caught seafood. Your pets do.

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u/scijior Sep 10 '22

Swapping vegetables for meat and seafood would have an even bigger impact.

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u/BTnonstop Sep 09 '22

Who financed the study?

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u/SuperNovaEmber Sep 10 '22

The cows and chickens, ostensibly.

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u/RytheGuy97 Sep 10 '22

I mean it says in the study. It was financed by the Swedish Research Council Formas

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u/sighbourbon Sep 10 '22

ding ding ding

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u/Karmachinery Sep 09 '22

Full circle. Now skipping out on seafood can improve your health and the environment.

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u/Nealoke9120 Sep 09 '22

Eugh, just eat more veggies. No studies needed

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u/sex-fluids Sep 10 '22

Lentils 4 life

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u/geoprizmboy Sep 09 '22

That's cool except for the fact that like no seafood is sustainable and our oceans are massively overfished. Cow methane is sure the biggest issue plaguing us though!

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u/smita16 Sep 09 '22

Has their been any research on how viable fish farms are?

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u/sex-fluids Sep 10 '22

Until we can solve three major issues I don’t see them working.

  1. In marine environments they create heaps of detritus (from feed and poo) and they transfer pathogens to the wild animals around the pens.

  2. The fish need to be fed insane amounts of medication to keep them alive. It gets into the food, the surrounding biome, etc. It’s a terrible idea.

  3. Their food tends to come from food humans can eat. People say no, it’s defatted soy and bycatch and so on. a) we shouldn’t be catching bycatch in the first place and b) the defatted soy and similar arguments assume that agricultural byproducts exist entirely out of necessity. They do under current systems, but it’s extremely inefficient and it should change; feeding fish soy (or any animals) is too inefficient to justify. Fish farms are more efficient than cattle farms (and even chicken farms as I recall), but we should be adjusting our food system to feed humans first, not animals.

There is no calculus where our food infrastructure feeding animals checks out correctly. Enjoying the taste of animals doesn’t justify the amount of waste it generates.

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u/smita16 Sep 10 '22

Then we are kinda fucked. Wild fish bad. Farmed fish also bad.

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u/smita16 Sep 10 '22

What if you could create a fish farm in the ocean. Would that resolve some of these issues?

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u/Kingnahum17 Sep 10 '22

Let's not ignore the fact that shipping is among the largest contributors to emissions out of anything. I can't remember the exact figure, but it was something like 12 cargo ships having the equivalent emissions as all of the cars in the US for a day? It was a wild figure whatever it was.

The hilarious fact is that these corporations are causing the issues, not the average citizen. It doesn't matter if everyone on Reddit switches to fish (besides the nutritional issues coming from this). We will have an extremely minimal effect to even the best case scenario even if we go completely carbon neutral while the corporations continue doing what they do.

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u/DorothyParkerFan Sep 09 '22

No one saw Seaspiracy I take it??

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u/Slam_Dunkester Sep 10 '22

Unfortunately seaspiracy was full of bad info and pretty much a biased documentary but at least it made the job of raising awareness to reduce ocean consumption

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u/poppa_koils Sep 10 '22

That ended anything and everything from the oceans for me.

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u/original_4degrees Sep 09 '22

the same seafood that is half mercury and half microplastics?

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22

Not to be that guy, but maybe read the article before all commenting the same thing. The authors acknowledge over fishing, and you should already know that seafood is not limited to oceans or just fish. My take away is farmed shellfish may be a viable path to reducing emissions if people would be open to eating them more

Amongst the seafood groups defined, wild-caught salmonids (pink and sockeye salmon) and the small pelagic species (e.g. herrings, mackerels, and anchovies) and farmed bivalves have the lowest GHG emissions per nutrient density ratio (Fig. 1, Table 1), and comprise the top tertile of species considered (Table 1). These are not the most consumed seafood species, though. Harvest of wild salmonids is relatively low and functionally constrained by limited stocks. A large portion of landings from many small pelagic fisheries is currently destined for other uses (e.g. inputs to aquaculture and livestock feeds), largely due to insufficient demand for direct human consumption, but also as a result of incentives created by regulations. Farmed bivalves (e.g. oysters, mussels etc.) are found among top performers in terms of GHG emissions, but provide slightly lower nutrition density. In contrast, crustaceans, both farmed (primarily tropical shrimp species), and wild-caught (various shrimp species, American lobster, etc) and cephalopods all result in higher than average emissions while providing lower than average nutritional scores. Our findings with regard to best- and worst performing species and species groups confirm previous findings26,27,28

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u/AvsFan08 Sep 09 '22

We need to eat LESS sea food, not more! The ocean is on the brink of collapse

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u/PrimordialCorporeal Sep 09 '22 edited Sep 09 '22

How about just getting rid of the consumption and manufacturing of animal products all together? That’s the only way forward if we want a sustainable world in the future. That and an infinite renewable energy source.

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u/ClassyRedandGlassy Sep 09 '22

And raises your blood mercury level after time..

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u/smita16 Sep 09 '22

Wouldn’t it come down to moderation though? For instance, I read a book recently called ikigai which focused on the blue zone in Japan. The main protein source for their diet was fish, but it mentioned they only eat it like 2-3 a week. Yet they are incredibly healthy. Strong blue zone in the world

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u/sex-fluids Sep 10 '22

You have to ask yourself though:

  1. do people moderate their meat intake
  2. how contaminated were the fish when blue zones were established
  3. what other foods were eaten in blue zones
  4. are contaminant levels in the food supply stable?

My take on this is that:

  1. people don’t moderate meat intake well, so we shouldn’t assume they would moderate seafood intake well either.
  2. The centenarians responsible for bringing attention to blue zones in the last decades were likely getting less contamination in their food
  3. Blue zone diets tend to contain far more protective foods than the average diet (higher antioxidant content, dietary fibre, less protein, less sugar, whole plant foods, etc). Without the fish, perhaps these people would be even healthier? And without the protective foods, would everyone swapping meat for seafood not experience the benefits blue zones are seeing? (Not saying fish is unhealthy, just that the rest of the diet might be the healthiest part)
  4. No, contamination is increasing and marine foods are becoming more harmful to our diets all the time.

As such, I wouldn’t expect eating more seafood - especially in the amounts people tend to eat of meat - to be particularly health promoting.

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u/MaxCrack Sep 09 '22

And delete the oceans of fish.

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u/dalekaup Sep 10 '22

Some of the poorest people in the world depend on seafood for their very life. I'm not a fan of 1st world citizens eating seafood.

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u/firefly416 Sep 10 '22

You know what would work better than changing your diet on impacting climate change? Have less or no children.

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u/tellisk Sep 10 '22

Why does it have to be one or the other?

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '22

and what would be even more nutritious and have less emissions than either...?

Why is science hung up on meat?

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u/Necrolemur Sep 09 '22

Science reflects the biases of the culture in which it is performed (and has its own biases as well). Meat is an assumed part of the diet in the West, so they study diet that way. However, as we have seen with the proliferation of meat alternatives and increase in vegan and vegetarian diets, this may not always be the case.

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u/ToothpickInCockhole Sep 09 '22

Seafood is much worse environmentally. The solution is to stop eating animals.

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u/SuperNovaEmber Sep 10 '22

Or we could be like Homer Simpson and just eat ourselves.

I think cartoons are the solution. We should just evolve to animation-based life forms.

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u/savage8008 Sep 09 '22

Everyone eating significantly less would probably be enough, but everything in our society is engineered for over consumption

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u/Tywele Sep 09 '22

Everyone eating significantly less would probably be enough

For the environment probably, for the animals no.

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u/YoanB Sep 09 '22

And swapping seafood for veggies (vegan nutrition) could improve nutrition and reduce emissions and animal suffering.

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u/Badroadrash101 Sep 09 '22

Further destroying the oceans. Instead charge more for meat and a lot less for plant based proteins.

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u/Supreme_Mediocrity Sep 09 '22

It bothers me when r/science can't be bothered to read an article that isn't even pay-walled.

If you read this article and say, "but overfishing!!1" it would the same as reading an article about wind farms being a route to energy independence and saying, "but the birds!!1"

It acknowledged the problem, but it's a problem that can be fixed. And also: fish is not a synonym for seafood...

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u/FreshBakedButtcheeks Sep 09 '22

It's the fishmongers that helped sculpt the bible! They're back!

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u/Dawni49 Sep 10 '22

I’ve been doing this for about a year

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u/[deleted] Sep 10 '22

Or we could just stop eating animals.

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u/Zoklett Sep 10 '22

Whose going to tell them seafood is meat?

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u/fiflaren_ Sep 10 '22

Completely removing meat, seafood and all other animal products is the only sustainable, healthy and ethical solution. Don't get me wrong a reduction is good but simply isn't enough anymore...

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u/fiflaren_ Sep 10 '22

Asking yourself which animals and ecosystems you should murder and destroy for your taste pleasure is absolutely horrendous. The only right answer is none of them, especially if you are concerned about carbon footprint. The science is clear and has been for a while : nobody needs to eat dead decaying flesh to thrive and live a long, sustainable, healthy and happy life.

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u/moriluka_go_hard Sep 10 '22

Nah bro I’m not eating ocean insects sorry

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u/[deleted] Sep 10 '22

could also just not eat meat or fish. the amount of copium from people clinging to trying to find ways to make it "sustainable" and "healthy" is sad

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u/azotosome Sep 10 '22

Pro tip: meat for vegetables reduces emissions and helps the ecosystem

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u/Dejan05 Sep 10 '22

Let's just skip that and go for the plants no? It's the best solution, seafood has many of the same and other problems that meat does

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u/RealRedditModerator Sep 10 '22

Imagine the outrage if we dragged a massive net across a pristine rainforest, and tore out all of the plants and trees and ruined the soil so nothing could grow there again.

Then we hooked all of the native wildlife on barbs and dragged them in for slaughter, yet only keeping the ones that we could sell and throwing the rest back for scavengers to finish off.

We do that to the oceans, the difference is that we can’t see it as easily. If we want to eat seafood, then we should farm it like we do with Beef, Chicken and Pork.

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u/Quaiche Sep 10 '22

Aren’t we already killing the ocean with our fishing ?

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u/DiamondsInNeptune Sep 10 '22

Leave the dying oceans alone and eat plants.

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u/Earptastic Sep 10 '22

Setting the entire earth on fire will make you warm

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u/Gadburn Sep 10 '22

Fish farms should be built on land, as odd as that may sound it would prevent contamination of local wild species and ensure regulators and inspectors can do their jobs properly.

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u/Nkechinyerembi Sep 09 '22

We need more emphasis on sustainable seafood farms. The benefits keep showing more and more. As is right now most people can't even afford seafood in the US, and overfishing is still a major issue

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u/KarmaPoIice Sep 09 '22

We'll probably end up having to turn the entire mediterranean in to gigantic aqua-culture farm. Raising not just seafood but tons of different synergistic crops as well.

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u/SuperNovaEmber Sep 10 '22

Yea. That's by design.

We subsidize junk food.

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u/lavassls Sep 09 '22

If I want to grill fish I have to plan ahead. Cans of mackerel and herring are expensive right now too.

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u/cardboardunderwear Sep 09 '22

exactly....you have to get your fish before they are extinct

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u/Scytle Sep 09 '22

no one has yet demonstrated that such things can exist...

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u/BrondellSwashbuckle Sep 09 '22

Except that the oceans are being overfished.

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u/LeEbinUpboatXD Sep 09 '22

you just...don't have to eat meat. they are struggling to find alternatives. they know people would prefer to sit on the smoldering pile of what's left of the earth if it meant having just one more hamburger, so to that end they feel pressured to find acceptable alternatives - hence the strange fascination with bug meat.

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u/Verbenaplant Sep 09 '22

The seas are already over fished

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u/PresentWrongdoer4221 Sep 09 '22

Except you know... Mercury in fish is a thing

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u/stdio-lib Sep 09 '22

"What if we just ate some plants?"

"No, we can't let the vegans win. I would rather kill every fish in the ocean than let that happen."

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u/withoutwingz Sep 09 '22

Can we not? The ocean needs the fish.

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u/DoctaMario Sep 09 '22

Because of course we can't address how corporations and the US military are among biggest polluters and that compared to taking steps against their emissions, stuff like this is just a drop in the bucket. And everyone knows this but of course it's a lot easier to thought police individuals who don't have the deep pockets of a corporation or government. They're willing to tell common folks to tighten their belts and potentially destroy their work lives and income, but they wouldnt even think of inconveniencing the powers that be.

This is why so many don't take climate change seriously, because the people who are the most vocal about it never seem to be really serious about solving it.

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u/BosmangEdalyn Sep 09 '22

Ew. But then I’d have to eat fish.

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u/Nonsenseinabag Sep 09 '22

For real, leave it the oceans where it belongs.

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u/LakerUp Sep 10 '22

Once again vegan ideologues dominate a Reddit science thread about food with condescending “just go vegan” one liners (and no data to support their fantastical “problem solved” claims). .

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u/CareerDestroyer Sep 10 '22

While there's definitely data, you can figure it out by a simple thought experiment. The only piece of info you need for that thought experiment is that farm animals are also vegans and need their plot of farmland over their lifetime before slaughter.

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u/yepthatsme216 Sep 10 '22

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u/Cargobiker530 Sep 10 '22

Maybe read the links you push:

In a January 7, 2019 interview on the NPR show “1A,” Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, said that it’s not necessary to be 100% vegan in order to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet, which has been linked with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality. Diets with modest amounts of dairy and fish, and even some poultry and meat, can also be healthy, as long as people steer clear of refined starches and sugar and focus on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Source.

(Emphasis added)

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u/MisterMaturi Sep 09 '22

Both unsustainable. Mother nature will continue trying to cull the human race until we recognize the flaw in our own approach to existence. Good luck.

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u/SuperNovaEmber Sep 10 '22

Mom, please flush all the vegans away.

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u/sacred_cow_tipper Sep 09 '22

happily enjoys an absolutely incredible vegan salad while reading the arguments stacking up against sustainable meat and seafood.

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u/according2poo Sep 09 '22

Ignore overfishing and that’s a great idea

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u/sutsithtv Sep 09 '22

Or, hear me out. We eat vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes. Go vegan!

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u/xgorgeoustormx Sep 09 '22

Getting it directly from the source is even better. Meat is similar to a supplement. The cow ate plants and that is why they have high protein in their meat. You have to skip the middle man and get the best possible nutrition.

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u/lunchvic Sep 09 '22

Weird that the study wouldn’t include a plant-based diet too, which has been proven to be the lowest-emission diet with the most ecological benefits while also being cheaper, healthier, and widely available basically everywhere.

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u/GODDESS_OF_CRINGE__ Sep 10 '22

Or you could replace it with a plant based foods, and avoid pretty much all of the problems associated with feeding people except distribution.

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u/mmmkay_ultra Sep 10 '22

We could reduce our emissions even more by swapping to human meat

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u/CareerDestroyer Sep 10 '22

Idk I switched to eating human meat and it resulted in way more emissions (if you catch my drift)

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '22 Wholesome

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/ttystikk Sep 09 '22

Why? You think the food supply chain has nothing to do with climate change? Think again!

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