What if We Really ‘Are What We Eat’?

These days more and more studies are being published proving the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. It’s no wonder why people are ditching meat, eggs, and dairy for their healthier and more delicious plant based alternatives. In 2018 the global vegan food market rose to $12.7 billion dollars, and as of April 2019 that number had grown by another 11 percent. Click here for more stats.

Photo by Fuzzy Rescue from Pexels

Today as we witness the devastating impacts of COVID-19 (a zoonotic disease passed from animals to humans), we are presented with another great reason to end our consumption of animal products. Below is a quick overview of the individual and global benefits of plant-based eating!

Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Adopting a Plant-Based Lifestyle

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce risk of cognitive impairment (due to aging)
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved cardio-vascular health
  • Decreased risk of cancer

Click here for more detailed information on the proven health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle

Global Impact of Animal Consumption

  • Diet Related Deaths ~ A report in the Lancet found that unhealthy diets are the leading cause of death and disease across the globe. An estimated 11 million human beings die prematurely due to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions annually.
  • Climate Impact ~ Worldwide food production accounts for up to 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, animal agriculture is responsible for three-quarters of this total.
  • Fresh Water Use ~ While the environmentally destructive practice of fracking takes approximately 70-140 billion gallons of water each year, by contrast, animal agriculture uses 34-76 trillion gallons.

Animal vs Plant Based: Protein Content & Water Costs

1 pound of beef = 90-100 grams protein               20 – 80 gallons of water per gram protein

1 gallon of milk = 128 grams of protein                15 gallons of water per gram protein

1 pound of tofu = 45-55 grams of protein              6 gallons of water per gram protein

1 pound of oats = 75 grams of protein                   3.8 gallons of water per gram protein

  • Pollution ~ Animal waste has created more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones around the world
  • Largest Mass Extinction in 65 Million years~ Animal agriculture is the number one cause of species extinctions to date. Due to forest clearing, culling predator species, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and commercial fishing.
  • Child Hunger ~ 82 percent of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals and those animals are then eaten by western countries
  • Animal Lives ~ Yearly over 72 billion land animals and 1.2 trillion aquatic animals are killed for food worldwide.

Changing Our Impact

  • Currently an estimated 820 million people around the world lack sufficient access to food, while upwards of two thirds of all soybeans, maize, barley, and nearly a third of all grains are used as feed for animals.
  • A shift away from animal-based foods could add upwards of 49 percent to the global food supply without expanding croplands.
  • Americans alone eating more beans and less beef would require 42 percent less cropland.
  • Cutting the amount of animal products consumed by half in the U.S. could reduce global water use by 37 percent.
  • Adopting a plant-based diet is an individual change that each of us can make that has a huge impact on many of the problems facing our society today. Click here to calculate an individual’s environmental impact of a plant-based lifestyle!

Changing any habit can feel daunting, especially something like they way we eat. One of the best parts of eating plant based is all of the amazing new foods you will open yourself up to. Whether you are working to create a plant-based version of an old favorite or exploring beans, grains, fruits and vegetables you’d never heard of before, eating plant based is an exciting journey. Click Here to check out my follow-up article for helpful and practical tips to transition to plant-based eating!

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/how-eating-more-plants-can-save-lives-and-planet https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/scientific-benefits-following-plant-based-diet/ https://www.sustain.ucla.edu/our-initiatives/food-systems/the-case-for-plant-based/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_slaughter https://www.cowspiracy.com/facts https://phys.org/news/2006-02-mass-extinction-species-begun.html

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