So I’v been talking a lot about not eating animals from different angles regularly since I started my blog. I became a vegetarian over 10 years ago, influenced by the “do no harm” first yamad calle ahimsā of Hatha yoga I started to practice properly then. This means to do no harm, to be non-violent, to act with loving kindness. This is an ethical guideline to me. But later, as I have got involved more and more with promoting a greener and more ethical lifestyle, I realised there are so many other reasons to. go meat-free.
I’m currently in limbo between a vegetarian and a vegan diet. I’d love to be more vegan and I’m trying – but at the moment this is how it is, there are some barriers I have no influence on so it will be like this for now. I think we should all be kind to ourselves too (since we are being kind to others) and stop being too hard on ourselves. So I think all attempts and all effort counts. But at the end of the day we should all aspire to eat more plant based.
Here are the 3 reasons why.
Better for the planet
Like it or not, meat and dairy farms are harmful for the planet. A plant based diet is the future if we want to fight climate change. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent. If everyone stopped eating these foods, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent. An area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined!
We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people. But still, around 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger. Because the majority of this food goes to feed livestock, not hungry people. Plant based diet is currently believed to be the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on Earth.
Better for humans
Well-balanced and predominantly plant-based diets can lead to improved nutrient levels, reduce premature deaths from chronic diseases by more than 20%. This, is when people have a known and treated disease. But some allergies and intolerances go under the radar and people “learn” to live with them. This can be avoided by taking vegan tests if you suspect food allergies.
Some animal fats have been linked to an array of illnesses and conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and heart disease. Transitioning to a vegan diet can reduce or even reverse some conditions related to animal-based food products. Recent studies have shown that people who eat the whole plant-based diet live 4-7 years longer than others who don’t eat. Lower risk of cancer, good impact on digestion (so you feel better), more energy, easier to contorl body weight.
Factory farming is the main source of animal cruelty in the food industry. Most of the meat you find in supermarkets are coming from farms like these. Not just slaughterhouses but factory farms should have glass walls. Mothers are separated from their children at birth. Female animals are impregnated as soon as possible. If an animal is sick, it is given antibiotics to limit the illness and keep it alive until it is slaughtered.
Animals made grow three times faster (growth hormones) than they would naturally. 90% of broiler chickens are unable to walk correctly because their legs can not deal with the excess weight of their bodies. And they live their short lives in tiny cages cramped together. I now stop here, the list could go on and on. We should stop this happening. No living creature deserves this.
So what do you think? Is a plant based diet the future?