When applied to an entire global population, the vegan diet wastes available land that could otherwise feed more people. That’s because we use different kinds of land to produce different types of food, and not all diets exploit these land types equally.
Grazing land is often unsuitable for growing crops, but great for feeding food animals such as cattle.
Perennial cropland supports crops that are alive year-round and are harvested multiple times before dying, including a lot of the grain and hay used to feed livestock.
Cultivated cropland is where you typically find vegetables, fruits and nuts.
The five diets that contained the most meat used all available crop and animal grazing land. The five diets using the least amount of meat—or none at all—varied in land use. But the vegan diet stood out because it was the only diet that used no perennial cropland at all, and, as a result, would waste the chance to produce a lot of food.
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