Veganism and Vegetarianism

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SONY DSC

There’s a lot of talk about whether veganism and vegetarianism are really better for you and the planet. While vegetarians omit meat from their diet, vegans do not consume any animal products, including milk, eggs, and honey. Often times people who follow these practices are seen as “earthy-crunchy” or “hippie-dippy”. But what’s so bad about that? Being “earthy-crunchy” means you’re aware of the impact every meal has and how you can lessen that impact while still filling your belly.

If you’re considering changing your diet, make sure you’re doing it the right way and do your research. Your body needs protein and calcium and so much more, but it is totally possible to be dependent from animal products.  Even just cutting down on your meat consumption can help the environment!

It’s Easy Being Green

It’s hard to connect the dots between what’s on your plate and how it affects things like global climate change. But cutting out meat, eggs, and dairy products can reduce your carbon footprint by 50% Here are a few good reasons to consider a plant-based diet in order to help the environment:

  • Raising animals for food (slaughter) creates more greenhouse gases than all of the trucks and cars in the world combined.
  • High levels of water pollution are caused by animal waste, antibiotics and additional hormones, and chemical sprays used on feed crop
  • 30% of the world’s land mass is dedicated to raising and feeding animals
  • The livestock industry is responsible for high levels of deforestation in order to make space for raising animals, which displaces natural inhabitants from their home.
  • To produce one pound of animal protein vs. one pound of soy protein takes 13 times as much fossil fuels and 15 times as much water

 

Going vegan or vegetarian can be an intimidating commitment, so a good way to start is to cut things out of your diet slowly. Try limiting your meat consumption to one daily serving, or limit yourself to just chicken and fish. Incorporate alternative protein sources such as beans, nut butters, or tofu into your diet to replace animals products. There are hundreds of thousands of people living vegan and vegetarian lifestyles to make a difference, and it’s possible for you to do it, too!