I became a vegetarian when I was 11. It wasn’t for the environmental or for the ethical reasons, I just couldn’t stand the taste and thought of meat. I didn’t think about it that much the following years. But in my early 20’s, it kind of hit me that this is exactly who I wanted to be. I later learned that switching to a plant-based diet is the single most important move one can do to help the environment. It’s much more effective than turning off the water while brushing our teeth or recycling (although, these are good actions as well). Think about it: the single most important move, that’s a lot! And it means that one person actually can do a difference.
By adopting a plant based diet you reduce:
- Air pollutions: To produce 2 pounds of beef causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a car for three hours. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that at least 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to livestock and their byproducts.
- Water pollutions: Each day the meat industry produce large amounts of manure which ends up in lakes and our drinking water. According to the EPA, agricultural runoff is the number one source of pollution in our water.
- Degradation of the rain forest: Tropical forests in Brazil are destroyed daily to make room for our larger demand of livestock. By not supporting the meat industry you helpt to reduce the degradation of the rain forest, which is utterly important for our air supply.
- Livestock consumes five times more than a human: About 70 percent of all grain that’s produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. In the US there are 7 bilion livestock that consumes five times as much grains as if would be consumed directly by the American population. All the grains that’s currently fed to the livestock would fed 800 milion people if it would be fed directly to the people.
I’m not saying that you should go all vegetarian or vegan if you’re not comfortable with it. But with all the colorful and tasteful options that’s out there today switching a few meals in favour for eating green has never been easier. The world’s appetite for meat increases and the production of animal protein consumes more and more amounts of natural resources such as water, fossil fuels and topsoil, while polluting our water and air. But you have the power to change this, simply by changing what’s on your plate. And lets face it, replacing one of the week’s dinners for a vegetarian or vegan choice isn’t that hard. And it’s a really good start.