A plant-based diet is one that is primarily derived from plants (pretty self-explanatory here). It includes veggies, grains, nuts, legumes, seeds and fruits, and few or no animal products. It’s a diet that is becoming a lifestyle for many people around the globe, and for a very good reason. You may have even tried to make the lifestyle change yourself - if so I applaud you.
This blog is about why you should consider making the move to a plant-based diet and eventually ditch the animal products altogether. From numerous health benefits to environmental factors to animal welfare, the reasons for change are endless. If you care about sustainability, equal rights, animals, the ocean, clean water, and the earth in general, then sit tight and read on because this blog post is just for you.
Image via www.deliciouslyella.com
Why should you consider eating a plant-based diet?
1. Sustainability of the planet
Eating a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint as animal agriculture is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions - 51 percent according to cowspiracy.com. These greenhouse gas emissions are one of the main contributors to global warming - and as I'm sure you already know, the planet is heating up at a rather fast rate which is beginning to cause havoc on our ecosystems.
In the last 439 million years, scientists say there have been at least 5 major extinctions on earth (between 50% to 96% of all species became extinct) and biologists suspect we are currently living through the sixth major mass extinction! And apparently, we are to blame. 'By the year 2100, human activities such as pollution, land clearing, and overfishing may drive more than half of the world's marine and land species to extinction' (National Geographic).
Image Ellen Taylor
By switching to a plant-based diet you will cut your carbon footprint by more than half! A recent study by Oxford University is one of the most comprehensive analyses ever done into the detrimental effects that farming animals has on Earth. The lead author, Joseph Poore states that “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification eutrophication, land use, and water use.” In the same study the findings state that we could cut global greenhouse gases by 23% with a vegan diet.
2. The Animals
Farm animals are easily the most abused animals on the planet. Born into slavery, separated from family, and subjected to cruelties such as extreme confinement and mutilations without painkillers. These animals are born to be slaughtered for our own selfish benefit of eating their meat.
On average 3 BILLION animals are killed every day. That is almost half the entire population of humans on earth. This doesn’t just include animals that are killed for food, but the animals that are killed in the process, such as male baby chickens and male cows (bulls). These innocent beings are deemed 'unwanted' as they are not usual and are slaughtered as infants.
Image Ellen Taylor
As well as preventing this kind of inhumane abuse, becoming plant-based or vegan will have an effect on the endangered species that inhabit the land and rainforests that become used for animal agriculture. WWF-Australia has found that millions of native animals are killed each year in Queensland due to the bulldozing of their forest and woodland habitats which become used for livestock. The study by Joesph Poore mentioned previously also talks about the alarming rate at which deforestation is happening to make space for meat and dairy farms.
3. The Health benefits
A quick google search on the benefits of a plant-based or vegan diet will leave you swimming in information, including articles and news headlines around the health problems associated with eating meat. Did you know that eating more than 700 grams of red meat a week increases your risk of bowel cancer (www.cancercouncil.com.au) or that The World Health Organisation has already classed processed meats as a group one carcinogen, meaning that processed meat does cause cancer! Vegans generally eat considerably more legumes, fruit and vegetables than non-vegans. This may explain why a recent review of 96 studies found that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from cancer (heathline.com).
A plant-based diet reduces the risk of mortality from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Healthy vegan diets are abundant with vitamins B1, C, and E, folic acid, magnesium, and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats.
Image via Treehugger.com
In summary, a plant-based diet is better for you, for the earth, and for the animals. You can eat a variety of delicious and nutritional vegan meals nowadays, and many fast food places are offering great vegetarian alternatives.
Below is a list of some great resources that will help you to enjoy a healthy plant-based lifestyle and provide you with lots of info on veganism, including an incredible podcast with Joseph Poole (The author of the Oxford University study mentioned above) and Ella Woodward (The creator of Deliciously Ella).
Deliciously Ella and Joseph Poole on how a vegan diet is the best thing you can do for the planet.
James Aspey (vegan activist) and Logan Paul interview on all things vegan
- Heaps of information on veganism and climate change
- Lots of recipes and nutritional info on eating a plant-based diet
- Tonnes of yummy recipes and handy info on plant-based meals. Download the app for easy and quick vegan meals and grocery lists.
- Vegan activist and public speaker making a difference. Posts a lot about what happens in the meat industry and some pretty hilarious DMs he gets on Instagram. Definitely worth a follow.