I always thought I lived an environmentally friendly life before eating plant based. I used solar power, composted, brought my reusable bags everywhere, but I had no idea that the way to make the biggest difference when it comes to saving the planet, is with your plate.
I watched the documentary Cowspiracy, which really opened my eyes to the toll eating meat, especially cows, takes on our planet.
Impossible Foods, known for their vegan Impossible Burger, recently commissioned a third-party research firm to survey people in the U.S. about their opinions on vegan meat. The research showed the public’s heightened attention on the environment, especially among younger generations. More people are choosing vegan for the good of the planet, with people aged 37 and under the most likely to do so.
Here’s just a few ways eating plant based helps the planet:
1. The Oceans:
Over half the plastic found in the ocean today comes from fishing nets. The ocean’s declining health — as well as the consumption of seafood — is depleting fish stocks at a rapid rate. Some experts say the world’s oceans could be empty of fish by 2048. Plus, according to Cowspiracy.com, runoff from factory farms and livestock grazing is a major contributor to the pollution of rivers and lakes. Up to 90 percent of freshwater pollution in is linked to animal agriculture.
2. The Land
Raising animals for food requires land, and LOTS of it. Research published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition outlined that a meat-eater’s diet requires 17 times more land than a vegetarian’s. The researchers concluded that 80 percent of the planet’s total farmland is used to rear livestock The researchers stated that if everyone went vegan, global farmland use would drop by 75 percent.
3. Our Water
The research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also said that a meat-based diet requires 14 times more water than a meat-free one.
The most effective thing any one person can do to lower their water footprint is to change what they eat, according to website Water Calculator. The website said that ditching meat is “the best way to lower dietary water footprints.”
4. Climate Change
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) named meat “the world’s most urgent problem” in September. “Our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us to the verge of catastrophe,” UNEP said in a statement. “The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined.”
Watch Cowspiracy for more on Climate Change and your food. Its mind blowing.