As we celebrate Earth Day today, it is essential for us to think of ways we can preserve or help the environment. We only have one Earth after all, and we currently face many environmental threats such as global warming, deforestation, desertification, water scarcity, poor waste management, and even habitat destruction.
While opting for sustainable products and recycling whenever possible are great ways to reduce your carbon footprint, one of the best ways to help the environment is to adopt a plant-based diet and cease to consume animals and animal products.
The “production” of meat is a leading cause of climate change and other environmental concerns. In fact, animal agriculture contributes 13-18% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, making it the largest pollutant industry of all. To help paint a picture of how detrimental animal agriculture is for our environment, let’s explore a few data points, curated by PETA:
● It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat.
● Animal agriculture uses half of all water used in the U.S.
● 55 square feet of rainforest is torn down for every single meal with meat.
● An acre of rainforest is cut down for cattle farming every six seconds.
● About 260 million acres of U.S. forests have been cleared in order to grow crops used to feed animals raised for food.
● Animal agriculture is directly responsible for 85% of all soil erosion in the U.S.
As you can see, animal agriculture is a massive contributor to the deterioration of the planet. In a better, healthier, and more sustainable world, we would forgo animal meat and products and replace them with healthy vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and plant-based meat alternatives, such as those created by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. If you’re worried about losing flavor by switching to a vegan diet, you’ll be surprised by just how delicious a plant-based diet could be. There are many vegan/plant-based options available at restaurants all around the world, making fast-food and dining out easier than ever.
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day, why not give a plant-based diet a try? It’ll do wonders for the environment while saving the lives of animals and also improving your health. A plant-based lifestyle may be just what it takes in order for us to save our planet from destruction.