“Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace.” ~Albert Schweitzer
In “David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet” documentary on Netflix, Attenborough states that “the planet can’t support billions of meat eaters.” His recommendation to make a better world? Go plant-based.
This also reduces our carbon footprint. In 2018, the United Nations deemed meat the world’s most urgent problem. We must replace animals as food production technology and see the lives they are meant to live. This also helps the planet because the UN says, “Using animals for food makes up the vast majority of the land footprint of humanity.”
This is leading to an ecological disaster. According to Future Kind, reducing meat helps combat world hunger, creates a cleaner soil, uses fewer resources, fights species extinction, and preserves species. It also cuts greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating climate change, stabilizes the ocean, and more. Lastly, it reduces animal suffering!
Bill Gates thinks rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef. There’s Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger, which are just a few brands that make this.
There’s even plant-based tuna by Good Catch. Yes, it exists. According to Khara-Jade Warren, not only are we consuming mercury and microplastics when we eat fish, there’s no such thing as sustainable fish because “commercial fishing practices are killing our oceans faster than we may like to think about. Nearly 90 percent of fish stocks are now either fully fished or overfished. We are talking about 9,000-10,000 tonnes of fish from the ocean every hour (the Food and agriculture organization of the UN). This has to change or we risk collapsing the entire ocean, which we rely on for life.”
Fish also feel! To find out more about advocating for fish, go here.
As for dairy, The Vegan Society says that calves are taken from their mothers within 24 hours, and this is done about five times for the cow. This causes distress and suffering. Males are considered useless and killed for veal. Cows are susceptible to mastitis, an utter infection caused by overproduction of milk. Since they are mostly kept indoors much of the year, they develop “lameness.” Dairy cows can live up to 25 years. They are killed within seven to eight years. According to The Grocer, cow milk also perpetuates climate change because “for every litre produced globally, 3kg of greenhouse gases (mostly methane) go into the atmosphere, according to an influential study by Poore & Nemecek.” Substitute dairy for oak milk, almond milk, or soy milk.
Plant-based means we don’t eat eggs either. Plant Based News says the reason not to eat eggs is “production involves the exploitation of the reproductive systems of hens.” This is even the case if the eggs are free range. If taken from your own chicken, know that these eggs are for their natural reproductive system, and unfertilized ones can be eaten by that chicken. It is not meant for human consumption. There are many substitutes for eggs, such as applesauce, ripe bananas, tofu, and more.
What is plant-based exactly?
According to Andrea Hannemann’s Plant Over Processed, a plant-based diet is about consuming nutrient-dense whole foods from plants—that means no animal products. So, no meat, dairy, or eggs. It’s up to us if we want to go fully plant-based or try it a little at a time. Reducing meat will help the planet overall.
A plant-based diet is rich in:
>> Healthy Fat
>> Good carbs (avoiding refined carbs)
When we go plant-based, we fill up faster and consume less calories. We also have increased energy; disease prevention; better cognition overall; weight loss; improved digestion; better gut health. The list goes on.
We can say bye to our bloat too! That’s because plants are more digestible than animal products and fats. This benefits a sensitive digestive system.
Here’s the breakdown:
>> Animal Products: 18-24 hours to break down
>> Fruits and Vegetables: 30-60 minutes to digest
>> Grains: 90 minutes to digest
The energy our body uses for digestion if we don’t eat meat can be put to better use.
Harvard Health Publishing says we should eat vegetables, choose good fats, incorporate whole grains into our day, and “build a meal around a salad.”
Healthline has examples of food we can buy and recipe examples here. However we do it is up to us. It’s important to become educated along the way and know our impact.
There’s also some on Netflix for viewing too. There are many more!
A great way to get started is to go onto Veganuary. They have a lot of great recipes, meal ideas, and more.
Vegan Health has a lot of good, unbiased information on staying healthy on a vegan diet.
Go at your own pace. It’s amazing to do any effort at all. Remember, Google is your friend. You can find everything that you need there too.