Earth Day: How a vegan diet can help save the planet

Vegan food haul from Whole Foods.
A vegan is someone who does not consume any animal products let alone any bi-products. A vegan does not eat meat or fish, as a vegan does not consume dairy, eggs and honey. Instead, a vegan consumes only plant-based foods. Although this eating lifestyle has proved to be effective in terms of improving one's health, there is scientific evidence that eating vegan can also help save our planet.
 

Did you know that the production of meat is the leading cause of climate change? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this fact was shared in the Livestock Long Shadow. Animal agriculture is the number one source of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. These greenhouse gasses are responsible for over 50% of climate change according to World Watch. And according to PETA, if every American alone would skip one carnivore meal and ate plant-based food instead, it would be like taking half a million cars off the road. Factory farming causes more pollution than every single plane, ship, train and automobile in the world today. So, what does this do? It poisons our planet. The UN suggests eating a vegan diet will ultimately destroy the effects of climate change.

The production of meat is the #1 cause of water waste. Did you know that? Now, this is water that could be used to save the planet, as it has been scientifically proven that 70% of the earth's fresh water is used for agriculture of both plants and animals. Did you know that it takes over 2,000 gallons (2,400 gallons to be exact) to produce just one pound of meat? It only takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat. According to PETA you would save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you would by not showering for six months. The facts are real. By going vegan you will simply conserve water.

Water pollution is simply contamination of our water. Everything from harsh chemicals to bacterial pathogens to even physical changes can cause pollution to our oceans, our lakes, our rivers, our streams and our aquifers. This form of pollution can also affect our groundwater producing toxins that spread. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), animal agriculture is the number one cause of water pollution. More so than raw sewage, trash, ammonia, phosphates and even heavy metals from motor vehicles. The ultimate cesspool of desolation and 400 dead zones alone have already been identified. You may ask, how so? It's simple, the feces from animals are flowing into the water and as a result, contaminating it and poisoning it. Water pollution also causes species endangerment and has caused birth defects in fish and other sentient beings who live under the sea. And according to the Raleigh News & Observer, in 1995 millions of gallons of waste from pigs killed 10 million fish alone in a single spill. As a result, almost 400,000 acres of land was forced to close.

Animal agriculture also depends on the rain forest and because of this, they must use over 50 square feet (55 square feet to be exact) for every single meal. As a result, this causes deforestation. Keep in mind, this is just for cattle to graze. Millions upon millions of trees have been destroyed to feed these responsive and innocent beings. According to PETA, the rain forest is entered every six seconds only to be cut down for factory farming. So, if you do the math that is over 14,000 of acres a day to create room for farmed animals. That is nearly 80% of the land deforested to feed innocent animals who will only die for your food source. For all of the food you feed to these animals, you could feed to your loved ones and even starving children around the world.

The beefless tips.
An amazing meat alternative by
Gardein.

If you have clothes to wear, a roof over your head and food to eat, you are still richer than over 70% of the planet. Choosing a vegan eating lifestyle would help destroy the concept of world hunger. Over 70% of grains grown is fed to animals only for those animals to be used as food source later. If you think about what an animal consumes and how they are treated, those who consume them later are very prone to what they have had to endure, including disease. Any pathogens including fecal coliform and other disease transfers to human beings. You can still obtain sufficient micro and macro nutrients from eating a plant-based diet. In fact, they would just increase. Consuming meat can cause an array of problematic health issues. If you think about it, animals are innocent beings and should never have to suffer for food, as humans should not want to ever put them into their mouth. Some of you may ask about where vegans get sources of B-12. We get our B-12 from fortified foods such as mock meats, non-
dairy milk and cereal as well as nutritional yeasts. According to National Center of Biotechnology Information, the B-12 present in meat comes from waste, bacteria and feces. 

Instead, you can enjoy your favorite carnivore classics as plant-based mock meat choices which are healthier and taste amazing. According to Yves Potvin, the CEO and founder of Gardein,"eating meatless, even just one day a week, is the simplest way to improve your overall health. Gardein has less fat than traditional proteins and no cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Gardein provides a good source of protein and fiber." With that said, you can find my list of vegan and vegetarian alternatives here.


Eating a vegan diet will not only improve and help your health, it will do much more including protecting and saving our planet. If you don't believe me, you can consider the research I have shared with you. Veganism has a plethora of benefits and is a step further in evolution. Although I am a vegetarian, I have been a vegan for a month now and I enjoy it. Do your part this Earth Day and enjoy the benefits of being healthy and happy by eating plant-based foods. Happy Earth Day!

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