Choosing Vegan Cheese Can Help Our Rivers and Oceans

Why Vegan Cheese Can Help World Ocean Day

The ocean has a very special place in our hearts here at VeganCheese.co and today is world oceans day, so we thought we'd write an article about how going vegan and eating vegan cheese can actually help the oceans.

Before we went vegan, in our late teens, we actually quit seafood, not the most common route to veganism, but the path we took.

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The ocean has a very special place in our hearts here at VeganCheese.co and today is world oceans day, so we thought we'd write an article about how going vegan and eating vegan cheese can actually help the oceans.

Before we went vegan, in our late teens, we actually quit seafood, not the most common route to veganism, but the path we took.

Usually people who transition to veganism do so because of land-based animals, those in the farming industries, such as cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. 

Because we have been brought up near the ocean and some of the team here are avid divers and ocean going people, we saw and learned the plight of the oceans very early on in our lives and the struggles that all the life have underwater.

But what does the oceans have to do with vegan cheese?

Why Does Eating Vegan Cheese Help The Oceans

It's actually quite simple really, it's not that eating vegan cheese directly benefits the oceans in some way, but rather that choosing a vegan cheese instead of a dairy cheese means that you are demanding less dairy, which in turn helps reduce the impact that dairy has on the oceans.

Thats it really, if you swap dairy cheese for vegan cheese, the animals and environment win.

What Impact Does Dairy Farming Have on the Oceans

What is quite disturbing with dairy, is that as well as having the female cows be continually raped so that they can have calves and then produce milk.

That dairy and meat industry is actually the leading cause of ocean dead zones on the entire planet.

So by reducing your reliance on dairy products, such as cheese, and replacing them with vegan cheese alternatives, which are much friendlier on the planet, you can see how you can help the oceans today on world ocean day!

Below you can see a map of ocean dead zones created by Nasa

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What Is An Ocean Dead Zone

But what is an ocean dead zone and how does a cow affect the ocean so detrimentally? 

An ocean dead zone is an area of ocean, usually coastal which are hypoxic, this means that the oxygen that is usually present in those areas, has been removed, making that area dead and unfit for life to continue.

And without oxygen in that area, the sealife that exist and live there either end up dying or moving out from the area if they are mobile and lucky enough to do so.

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Added Nutrients From Farming Are The Main Cause

There are many factors that can contribute and create these areas, but mostly it is a case of nutrients (from manure) getting in to a water source that leads to the ocean and the algae that is naturally present grows larger, more rapidly or more algae is created because of these nutrients and in this process of decomposition uses the oxygen that is present around them.

Ocean dead zones can also appear in some areas naturally, without the input of humans creating them.

Mostly though, and the largest ocean dead zones we have ever seen, are because of our input.

This is what NASA have to say about it.

However, these zones may grow larger with the additional nutrient inputs from agricultural runoff. [5]

This process happens naturally all over the oceans, but in smaller and more manageable sizes that the sea can work with, usually there is a balance and the dead zones are small or don't last long.

Dead zones occur around the world, but primarily near areas where heavy agricultural and industrial activity spill nutrients into the water and compromise its quality accordingly. [1]

But with the nutrients that run off of farms in the form of manure, this process can become explosive and ever expanding, covering hundreds of square miles of ocean.

Nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. [2]

The primary sources of excess nitrogen and phosphorus are:

  • Agriculture: The nitrogen and phosphorus in animal manure and chemical fertilizers are necessary to grow crops. [2]

The statement above comes directly from the environment agency of the USA.

A minor detail at the end of their statement that animal manure is required to grow crops is wrong, we have veganic farming proving that.

In this article by George Monbiot about dairy farming and river pollution, you can easily see the issues that are caused and understand that when a river is polluted from farming run-off, such as manure, the oceans and coastal areas they run in to also become polluted and die off, creating ocean dead zones.

However, the majority of dead zones worldwide are a direct result of farm animal agricultural practices. [3}

It is the improper disposal of nutrient-rich animal waste that is the leading cause of ocean dead zones. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates roughly 335 million tonnes of manure (measured in dry weight) is produced by livestock in the United States alone. Coupled with excess fertilizer run-off from the production of animal feeds such as corn and soy, the by-products of animal agriculture are a deadly combination for our oceans. [3]

At the bottom of this article we have included citations to statements we have made above.

As you can see, with the statements we have added above, this isn't a local phenomenon or one that happens infrequently.

They are continually happening all over the world, with dead zones getting larger and larger.

In this documentary by George Monbiot he demonstrates and shows how animal manure which runs in to the river systems are the leading cause of river pollution, which in turn makes its way in to our oceans.

 

 

How Can We Reduce Ocean Dead Zones

As we have pointed out, the main cause of ocean dead zones is dairy farming and agriculture in general.

All we have to do is remove the animals from this equation, it's that simple.

We have created the largest database of vegan cheeses anywhere on the internet, just head on over to it and see what new amazing vegan cheeses you can find today!

The beautiful thing about veganism is that it requires far less land to provide the same nutritional requirements and calories we need.

We could actually replace 76% of all current farmland in use on the planet with nature and wild habitats, releasing the land back to the wildlife. [4]

And if you don't think you can actually make an impact, the Dairy Industry are now actually blaming vegans as the primary reason that the dairy industry is collapsing.

You may also notice how some of the citations mention manure from animals put on crops which run off in to the rivers and ocean. How would we get around this issue in the future? 

This area of crop growing is already covered and proven by the veganic growing network. Where farmers and food growers use no animal input on their farms or foods and some even winning international awards for their farming methods.

What Are Governments Doing

Why don't we enforce larger fines.

Sure, why not, but that wouldn't stop manure getting in to the water table, in to rivers and in to our oceans.

We just have too many animals being farmed on the planet.

We also have the issues in the United Kingdom of not enough environmental workers are available to monitor the issue.

Funding for these departments are continually cut and the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales have had many roles in their industry removed.

Which means that there just aren't people present or available to check on farming practices and environmental issues.

To make matters worse, the quotas that they did have pre 2022 have actually been limited so that they are now checking farming environmental issues even less than they used to.

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