The health of our planet is under increasing threats due to the short-sighted policies of President Trump and his decision to turn the reigns of the Environmental Protection Agency over to Scott Pruitt, a man who has spent his career fighting against clean air and water. It is easy to feel powerless in the face of this challenge, but there is something we do many times each day that has profound impacts on the health of our environment: we eat. Every bite we take casts a vote for the kind of world we want to live in, and by making simple changes to our eating habits, we can make a difference.
Consider the following 1:
- Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, and 51% of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
- Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
- 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of eggs; almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1 pound of cheese.
Still don’t think it matters what you eat?
What can we do? We can eat lower on the food chain. By including more plant-based meals into our day, we can begin to lessen the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment. We can begin to remove toxins in our environment by choosing organic produce when possible. Here’s the good news:
- A person who follows a vegan diet produces 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th the oil, 1/13th the water, and 1/18th the amount of land compared to a meat-lover for their food.
- Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:
- Vegan: 1/6th acre
- Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
- Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan
If each of us chooses to move as far towards a plant-based, vegan diet as we feel comfortable, we will create a healthier environment. We don’t have to wait for the next election to do something that will have a vast impact on the world. We change the world each time we pick up a fork.
If you would like some help learning how to move towards adopting a more plant-based diet, please feel free to contact me.
To learn more about the effects of animal agriculture on the global environment, check out the film Cowspiracy