Vegan for a Better World….6 Ways Veganism Will Save Us!
Our beautiful, life-sustaining planet (our home) is in trouble. Climate change is real. And humans are the major cause of it. The Earth’s average surface temperature has risen a substantial 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
By now, most have probably read or heard the dire warnings facing our planet. Last October, the UN published a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that essentially states we have about 12 years to make “urgent and unprecedented changes” if we are to stave off climate change catastrophe. This should sound the alarm for every single person in every corner of the world.
Realizing their future is at stake, the children of this world are rising up and making their voices heard. Tens of thousands of children, inspired by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, have been walking out of classes on Fridays to protest global warming and climate change and to demand more action from their governments. And on March 15th of this year, “an estimated 1.6 million students protested in over 120 countries” at the Global Climate Strike for Future. Sixteen year old Thunberg has subsequently been nominated for a Nobel Peace prize for her climate activism.
These children want answers. It is their future on the line and politicians are nowhere near where they need to be on this critical issue. But it is not just up to the children….we must all do something and make our voices heard!
The rise in Earth’s surface temperature has been largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping, human-made emissions that are released into our atmosphere. Our oceans are warming, the polar ice is melting, our seas are rising and we’re seeing more extreme weather patterns across the globe, such as hurricanes and wildfires.
Much of this climate change is due to animal agriculture.
According to the EPA, the meat and dairy industries combined use nearly 1/3 of all the fresh water in the world today. Polluted farm runoff is infiltrating our oceans as well. In fact, the “livestock sector is the largest contributor to global water pollution”. The animal agriculture industry also “generates the second highest source of emissions, greater than all transportation combined.”
The sad fact is that animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, habitat destruction, drought, biodiversity loss, species extinction, ocean dead zones, and water pollution (excerpted from the Conspiracy website).
Some other facts –
- According to a 2018 Oxford University study, animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up a whopping 83% of our farmland.
- A 2018 Greenpeace report found that “global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change. If left unchecked, agriculture is projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy.”
- Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years (excerpted from the Cowspiracy website).
- According to an article in the LA Times, 1 pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water verses 1 pound of corn that requires only 108 gallons of water.
So, given all this grim news….. What if there was a magic bullet to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, pollution, deforestation, drought, world hunger, animal slavery, human antibiotic resistance, cancer rates, heart disease and so many other things that are plaguing us today?
Well, there actually is something we can all do that will fix so many of our world’s problems…. and that something is veganism!
Yes, by switching from resource-intensive animal products to a whole foods, plant based diet and lifestyle, we can each have a hand in creating a better and more sustainable world. And a healthier one!
Veganism is not just about eating a plant based diet. It is a movement, a way of living that denounces any form of exploitation and cruelty towards animals. This includes not using animals for food, clothing, experimentation, entertainment or any other purpose.
What is remarkable about veganism is that besides the obvious health benefits of a plant based diet, and besides the fact that it saves billions and billions of animals from a life of misery and death each year, veganism on a mass scale can also help reverse climate change.
Avoiding meat, dairy and other animal products is the single biggest way each of us can help to reduce our environmental impact on the planet. According to the Vegan Society, “If the world went vegan, 8 million human lives could be saved by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by two thirds and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion.”
Below are 6 reasons why veganism will help our planet, help us, and of course help the innocent, sentient animals –
1) Better for the Environment and Sustainability – Veganism on a mass scale can have far-reaching and profound benefits for our environment. Did you know that going vegan has a far bigger impact on this planet than cutting down on one’s flights or driving an electric car? Animal agriculture is not only heating up the Earth, it is poisoning our planet. The rise in pollution and carbon emissions is affecting the air we breath and the water we drink, essentially everything we depend on. We must take drastic steps to try and reverse this alarming trend, if not for ourselves, then for future generations. One of the biggest and most impactful steps we can each take is to adopt a whole food, vegan diet and lifestyle.
Note – Just one person who follows a plant based, vegan diet “produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide and saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land and countless animal lives – compared to a non vegan.” Noted from the Conspiracy website.
2) Better for the Animals – The very fact that we are breeding billions and billions of innocent, sentient animals into existence for the sole purpose of slaughtering them for their flesh, secretions, skins and other body parts is just wrong on so many levels. We are living in the 21st century where we have options. We are no longer hunter gatherers living in cave dwelling times where some of the only food options may have been animals. We thankfully live in a time where we have access to healthy, plant based foods and tasty alternatives to meat, dairy, eggs and fish. The question is – if we can live healthy lives without killing sentient beings, why wouldn’t we? We must evolve beyond an animal-centric diet and lifestyle.
3) Better for Our Health – What we eat has the potential to either harm us or heal us. It is known that eating meat, dairy and eggs contribute to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and other. Processed meats are known carcinogens. Red meat in particular raises the risks of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as causing health problems like diabetes and increased blood pressure. Meat and dairy is also laden with endocrine disrupting hormones and antibiotics. Did you know 80% of antibiotics sold in America get pumped into farm animals? Thus causing antibiotic resistance in humans. Eating meat can also carry a high risk of foodborne illness such as salmonella and E. coli if meat is not prepared or stored properly. We all have the choice as to what we put into our bodies – choosing food that is alive verses food that is dead. A whole foods, plant based diet gives us everything we need to live a happy and healthy life.
4) Better to Feed the Planet – Breeding, raising and slaughtering billions of animals each year for food is not only inhumane, it is very inefficient. There is enough plant based food on this planet to feed every last person, yet people continue to starve. All the grain that we grow to feed the farm animals could go towards feeding the poor and the hungry. We are currently “growing enough food to feed 10 billion people” and yet, every year starvation claims the lives of over over 2.5 million children under the age of five. That is because many of these starving children live in countries where food is grown to be fed to farm animals…animals that are eaten by affluent, western countries. Worldwide, “at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock”. Fact – it takes a staggering “13 pounds of grain to produce a single pound of meat”. Inefficient I would definitely say!
5) Better for Our Collective Conscience – When we eat animals – sentient beings that have suffered a life of misery, torture and slaughter – we’re taking in all that negativity and fear into our own bodies. Eating the dead flesh of a tortured soul is simply not a good recipe for a healthy life. Eating living, whole plant foods on the other hand is not only healthy for us, it’s life affirming and good for our collective karma. It is not the ‘circle of life’ to breed 100 billion land animals into existence every year so that they can live in abject misery, be tortured and slaughtered by humankind. Especially when we don’t need animal products to survive. We can all sleep easier knowing that we’re not contributing to the suffering of billions of innocent animals, sentient beings that are exactly like the dogs and cats we love so much.
6) Better for World Peace – By choosing a more compassionate way of living by not using sentient animals for our food, clothing and other, our world would become a kinder and more peaceful place. The act of killing an innocent being, someone who does not want to die, perpetuates violence in our societies. Violence begets violence. We must move out of this cycle of killing in order to evolve as a species. There would be much benefit to society – happier people, a stronger sense of community, a healthier outlook on life and more understanding of animal welfare – if there was widespread veganism. The future is vegan!
In conclusion, the answer is pretty clear. When we think of planet Earth, we must think of it as “our home” because truly, it is our one and only life-sustaining home. While we are living on this planet, we have two homes that truly matter how we take care of them….our physical bodies and planet Earth.
When we think of our bodies and our planet in this way, it makes sense that we would want to do everything in our power to protect these home(s). It truly should be our #1 priority in this life to take care of Mother Earth. For our own survival. And for the survival of future generations…..the children and their children (and so on) who will inherit this dying earth.
We must each make change now, and we must demand more from our governments. This is not a partisan issue. This is not a race or religion issue. This is a global issue. We are all on this lifeboat called Earth together, and time is running out to affect serious change.
We can all do our part and certainly one of the biggest changes each of us can make is through what we choose to eat three times a day every single day. Please take animals and animal products off your plates. Veganism is an easy solution that we can all implement without hardship.
Time is running out. Will you make the change?
“We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet- for the sake of hamburgers.” ~Peter Singer