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Gen Z and their dietary preferences to combat human-driven pollution

Gen Z's eco-friendly diet

Gen Z is demonstrating a heightened concern for the environmental impact of human-driven pollution, particularly in comparison to older generations. This younger demographic not only expresses greater worry but also exhibits a willingness to take action to combat the problem. A recent study reveals that 79% of Gen Z individuals opt for meatless meals at least once a week, with 65% expressing a desire for a more plant-based diet.

Whats the connection?

The connection between livestock farming, particularly factory farming, and global warming is substantial. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to the overheating of the planet, responsible for 16.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions from all global transportation combined. Additionally, it contributes to 65% of the world’s nitrous oxide pollution, a potent heat-trapping gas nearly 300 times more impactful than carbon dioxide.

Be more aware

As plant-forward diets gain popularity among younger generations, there is an increasing recognition that adopting a more environmentally conscious diet doesn’t necessitate completely eliminating meat. “Flexitarian” diets, which incorporate occasional meat consumption alongside plant-based choices, have become more fashionable than strict vegetarian or vegan diets.

Research supports these dietary choices. For example, studies suggest that if the heaviest meat consumers in the United Kingdom shifted to low-meat diets, the overall environmental impact would be akin to removing 8 million gas-powered cars from the road.

Nevertheless, a specific demographic group appears less interested in flexitarian diets. Men aged 50 to 65, constituting less than 12% of the population, are responsible for half of the total beef consumption in the United States. This dietary preference not only raises concerns about their health but also has detrimental consequences for the environment.

Gen Z’s heightened concern for environmental issues and their willingness to adopt more environmentally friendly dietary choices underscore a shifting mindset in favor of plant-forward and flexitarian diets, which can significantly reduce the environmental impact of animal agriculture. However, there is still work to be done in educating and motivating other demographic group.

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