Studies have repeatedly shown that vegans generate a smaller carbon footprint than carnivores. This article looked at data compiled from various government sources, including the USDA’s Economic Research Service, and found that the average American generates 1.67 times as much carbon as the average American vegan, when other factors are held constant. If we assume that a vegan uses roughly the same distribution of carbon-generating products as an omnivore, such that he or she is using the same ratio of oil, coal, natural gas, etc., then we estimate that, if all Americans went vegan, it would reduce the domestic sales of ExxonMobil by the same ratio.
In 2015, ExxonMobil’s total revenue $268.88 billion, with a total pre-tax profit of $21.966 billion over its $246.916 billion in total expenses. After taxes, it generated a net income of $16.150 billion. Note that this was way down from its 2014 figure of $32.520 billion, due largely to a sharp decline in oil prices.
The distribution of ExxonMobil’s revenue between foreign and domestic markets has seen the US share steadily rising for the last few years to about 38% in 2014, after holding steady at about 30% for the first decade of the millennium. If we use an estimate of approximately 35% for the share of domestic revenue in the latest numbers, it means total US sales in 2015 totaled about $94.108 billion.
Using that number, we can estimate the effect on that figure if all Americans suddenly went vegan. It would drop by a factor of 1.67 to $56.35 billion, for a net revenue reduction of $37.76 billion. It should be noted that, if ExxonMobil did not cut expenses to compensate for this loss of revenue, that all Americans going vegan would be enough to send ExxonMobil into the red, as that figure is larger than the $21.966 billion ExxonMobil netted before taxes in 2015. For ExxonMobil to compensate, it means it would need to cut expenses, which would mean it, as a corporation, would be shrinking. There would be less drilling, fewer pipelines, and smaller compensations for executives.
Veganism is Protest
Rex Tillerson has a net worth of $245 million. This is the result of his work as the CEO for ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016. While he has allegedly “severed all ties” with ExxonMobil, they are certainly still lobbying him and he certainly still has plenty of interest in seeing them expand and grow.
If you don’t like the US State Department being run by Big Oil, and if you don’t like moguls enriching themselves at the expense of the planet’s environment, consider making Big Oil a little smaller by way of your dietary choices. It may seem trivial, but, as the numbers indicate, it isn’t. Much as with all forms of protest, when enough people refuse to accept injustice or participate in unjust systems, it makes a difference. We can’t rely on our corrupt government to curtail the villainy of the oligarchic elite; we, the people, can do it ourselves.