To give you an idea, this “scorecard” from the World Resources Institute illustrates the differing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions per gram of protein from both animal and plant-based protein foods.

Making just one pound (454 grams) of lamb generates five times more GHGs than making a pound of chicken and around 30 times more than making a pound of lentils. In the U.S. alone, beef accounts for 36% of all food-related GHG emissions.

Beyond emissions, it’s also important to note that food production places an enormous demand upon our natural resources, as agriculture is a major contributor to deforestation, species extinction, and freshwater depletion and contamination.