They say you should never start a new diet on a Monday because you’ll inevitably fail. Well, it’s a great thing Earth Day is on a Tuesday this year then because if you want to help the Earth you should go vegan!
On the day when every environmentally conscious person goes the extra mile to help our little planet out, one of the most considerate efforts is to change your diet. Cleaning your plate of meat and other animal derived products has shown to be extremely healthy for our own bodies but it is even better for the Earth.
Climate change, deforestation and even shortening of water supplies can all be traced back to your bacon cheeseburger so here’s how swapping that out for a vegan patty and soy cheese can make a huge difference in the world:
The farming of livestock is responsible for almost 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from human-related activities. That includes huge amounts of methane (500 liters a day per cow to be exact), which are 25 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide, the pollution from transporting these animals and powering their feed production and nitrous dioxide emitted into the air from their manure, which is 300 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide.
If we eat less meat, that’s less livestock and farm production polluting the air and then maybe snowmaggedon will be something for the history books instead of a yearly occurrence.
Seventy percent of all water taken from lakes and natural waterways goes towards farming. That wouldn’t be a problem if there was enough to go around but it is estimated that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living without access to a natural water supply. Today that number is 780 million.
Today livestock consume eight percent of all water. That’s because to produce about two pounds of beef you need between 10,000 to 13,000 liters of water. To produce that same amount of wheat you need 1,000 to 2,000 liters.
Basically our supplies are low and we’re giving all of this water away to produce meat when we could be producing plant based foods with way less and save enough to give more people a basic access to clean water so they can shower, hydrate and cook, something most people take for granted.
Livestock can’t be raised in city blocks or in the middle of a forest so down go the trees and all the species that live within them to make a nice barren landscape for farming.
About 30 percent of all the Earth’s surface is taken by farming grounds, so it’s no wonder livestock production is responsible for 70 percent of the deforestation of the rain forest in Latin America.
All that farming land is not just used to keep the animals but also to grow food for the animals so they can eat — and they eat a lot!
To put things in perspective, it take one hectare of land to produce vegetables, fruits, cereals and vegetable fats to feed 30 people for a year. If that same hectare is being used for the production of eggs, milk and meat, it will feed only 5 to 10 people for a year.
Go vegan and save some trees.
And these are just the environmental reasons to switch up your diet. That doesn’t even count the contribution to the horrors of factory farming or the damage you’re doing to your body. So if you want to be the change you want to see in the world, go vegan and save the planet. You can find a starter kit with all of the information needed to ditch animal foods on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website.