Why A Plant-Based Diet Is Good For You And The Earth

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Woman eating an appleEarlier on this month, Small Footprints shared how she switched to a vegan diet in order to improve her health.

Today our guest writer shares how a plant based diet is good for both your health and the future of the planet.

There are a wide variety of ways that the average person can help the environment–organic farms, alternative energy, conservation, San Diego recycling, etc. There are also a wide variety of ways that the average person can keep his or herself in good health. But there are not very many options for doing both at once. A plant based diet is one of them. It’s a form of vegetarianism that focuses more on the benefits that plant based diet will have on both the physical systems of your body and on the ecosystems of the planet.

The facts are plain as day. If you’re consuming animal protein you’re supporting a rampant industry of grain production and animal transportation that is responsible for a stunning amount of carbon emissions as well as the decimation of lands due to pollution and deforestation. You’re also possibly littering your own body with synthetic chemicals and hormones that could have adverse long term health effects.

A plant-based diet, free from animal protein, is good for the environment because:

~Livestock contributes 18 percent of the world’s carbon emissions: chemical fertilizers and deforestation is inherent in feed production; enteric fermentation and nitrous oxide emissions in animal production; carbon dioxide produced during the transportation and upkeep of the animals.

~Animal agriculture also contributes greatly to water pollution, including eutrophication, dead zones, coral reef decimation, and the chemicals produced by animal antibiotics and hormones, and fertilizers. Animal production also depletes our water resources.

~The meat industry decimates rain forests in order to create land for livestock. This damages the world’s ecosystems and tragically reduces the planet’s biodiversity.

A plant-based diet, free from animal protein, is good for your body because:

~Many commercial meat products contain synthetic hormones and antibiotics that can increase your chances of cancer and heart disease. Fish also contain high levels of mercury, which can be toxic.

~Animal protein causes inflammation in blood vessels and clogs your arteries, increasing your chances of a stroke or heart attack.

~Contrary to popular belief, the dairy from animals can actually reduce your calcium levels and increase your chances of osteoporosis.

Numerous studies and global environmental reviews have confirmed that a plant-based diet is beneficial to both your own health and the health of the world’s natural habitats and ecosystems. Committing to a diet that largely consists of organically raised produce is a great way to enjoy life more fully while creating a dynamic change that, over the years, will add up to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Sally is a committed vegetarian. Her change of diet began with ‘Meat Free Monday’ and as she learned more about the implications of her diet on her body, the environment and the animal’s themselves, she became more passionate about spreading her message!

We’d like to thank Philips for sending us an Avance juicer and Abel and Cole for our delicious fruit and vegetable boxes so we can keep ourselves fit and healthy too!

1 Comment

  1. Mrs Green on February 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Thanks Sally, this is an interesting post for me because although I was vegetarian for 20 years, I started eating salmon and chicken again about a year ago. And I have to say I feel better in myself. Not so sure about my conscience, but certainly physically. It’s been quite an emotional journey…

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