In addition to the amazing power of plant-based eating to save your personal health and the health of your loved-ones, it also has the power to save the planet from the environmental crisis we’re currently facing. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, greenhouse gases, and habitat destruction. Here is just a small sample of the ways that your food choices can have a global impact.
Save the Land
If we take all the arable (farmable) land on Earth and divide it by the number of people on the planet, we each get approximately 1 acre. A plant-based diet uses only 1/6 of an acre and a vegetarian diet uses ½ an acre. But a meat-based diet uses 3 acres, which is three times as much as one’s share. This means one’s choice to eat meat robs two other people of their share of land to grow food.1
Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction with 1-2 acres of rainforest being cleared every second for grazing and animal crops.2
Save the Air
The loss of forests means the loss of Mother Earth’s lungs which clean the air by breathing in carbon dioxide (CO2) and breathing out oxygen.
At the same time, animal agriculture is responsible for more CO2 greenhouse gas emissions than the combined exhaust from all transportation.2 Livestock also produce methane and nitrous oxide which produce far more climate change than CO2.3, 4
Save the Water
When we consider all the water that animal livestock drink and all the water used to grow the food they eat, we are consuming an astonishing amount of water when we consume animal products. For example, it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, 900 gallons of water for 1 pound of cheese, and 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk.5 On average, it takes twenty times more water (per calorie) to produce meat compared to plant-based foods.1
Save the Oceans
Three quarters of the world’s fisheries is exploited or depleted.2 For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.2 We could see fishless oceans by 2048.6
130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US.7 The majority is not treated. It is sprayed into the air or allowed to run into rivers, and in either case, it makes its way into our oceans resulting in dead zones.
As you can see, whether you care about your health, the health of animals, or the health of our Mother Earth, a whole-food, plant-based way of eating checks all the boxes. If you’d like help making the transition to this lifestyle, reach out to us and we’d be happy to be your coaches. You have the power to save the planet and you don’t even have to break a sweat.
- “Healthy Eating, Healthy World” by J. Morris Hicks, 2011
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- Science Magazine
- United Nations
- Environmental Working Group
- National Geographic
- United States General Accounting Office
We also recommend:
- “Comfortably Unaware” by Dr. Richard Oppenlander, 2012
- “Cowspiracy” documentary by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn