Convincing a culture raised for multiple generations on a largely meat-and-potatoes diet to go vegan for the sake of their health and that of the planet isn’t an easy exactly an easy sell.
A large majority of the population equates steak, roasts and barbecued foods with comfort, and even if times are tough, as long as they have something to sink their teeth into at the end of the day, they justify that they can get right back on the work treadmill again.
Unfortunately, our appetite for animal based products has caught up with us by taking a huge toll on our waistlines, and even more crucially on our environment.
Beyond the high cholesterol factor, the amount of resources necessary to sustain a perpetually colossal volume of factory farmed animals is staggering.
According to the author of the latest United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) report exploring the connection between animal products and the tipping point that our planet is currently undergoing, “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”
Furthermore, the production of dairy and meat items is responsible for consuming 38% of our planet’s total land, 70% of our total water, releasing untold amounts of pollution (creating oceanic dead zones and decimating local ecosystems) and releasing 19% of our global carbon emissions.
In order to sustain our ever-growing planetary population on this type of meat and dairy-rich diet, we would surely deplete our resources in the foreseeable future, whereas if we all embraced a transitionary once-a-week meat-free diet (like what Sir Paul McCartney has backed for a while now and famed meat-centric chef Mario Batali is now championing) those of us who are still on the fence might realize just how easy, budget friendly and even delicious it really is.
This is serious food for thought given our current entirely unsustainable food production system so please take a moment to explain what you are personally doing to alter your diet, whether big or small. We’d love to hear from you!