Planting The Seed …
Although I love the idea of all my friends and family living a fully plant based lifestyle, I understand this is unrealistic as people have habits which they don’t want to change, they enjoy eating meat and they may not feel there is substantial benefit for themselves to swap fro-yo to co-yo 😉
However, I absolutely believe it is possible for people to become that tiny bit more creative, even just once a week to begin with. After a tough Monday at work you can return home to cook up something which is delicious, fun and good on the ‘ole environ. This is actually how I started…one day turned into two, and so forth. As I learnt more delicious veggie recipes it became easier and easier. Without even intending to I one day realised it had been over a month since I’d eaten anything which once had a face :O
So, here are my top reasons why trying to cook a plant based meal once or twice a week could really help save our planet:
1. Hey Bro, We’re Running Out of H2O!
Gaining out food from animals in an inefficient use of water, but why is this?
- Nearly 50% of the water used in the US is for raising animals for food.
- 70% of grain & cereal in the US is fed to farmed animals
- You’d save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you would if you didn’t shower for 6 months. Bring on the book in bath routine.
Although some of this water used for farming animals will be recycled, unfortunately our water supply is not endless and it is gradually becoming more and more polluted; farm animal waste often ends up in our lovely rivers and seas.
The beautiful seas on Belize. I’d love them to stay this way for my kids to scuba through too.
2. Eat Spuds to Save the World
Most of us love mash, chips or jackets right!? If you agree then good news and it is the same for all starchy foods…
- 2,400 gallons of water is needed to produce 1lb of meat whereas only 25 gallons of water is needed for 1lb of wheat.
- Over 15,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1kg of beef but only 287 litres per kg of potatoes.
Fat sweet potato chips with Happy Pear 5 minute curry.
3. Things Aren’t Looking So Fishy Anymore
I used to love eating fish but here are some stats which hit home for me…
- 3/4 of the worlds fisheries are exploited or depleted. The Japanese for example come over the Sydney to purchase their fish as they’ve already rinsed their waters of wildlife.
- 650,000 whales/dolphins/seals are killed by fishing vessels each year
- 40% of fish caught each year are discarded.
- 2.6 bn animals are pulled from the ocean each year (far more than we can replenish)
On a 3 day diving/fishing trip in Central America, I saw for myself that our oceans are quickly becoming depleted of fish
I was really sad to learn about all the beautiful sea creatures which are taken from the seas as part of the tuna, salmon and sushi industries which I was promoting by eating their products.
During a dolphin watching tour in Mexico, I was busy admiring their unique playfullness and beauty. Then it struck me how these beautiful animals may one day end up in fishing nets as a result of meeting my sushi desires.
Fortunately I opened my mind and found that plant based sushi is easier, cheaper and leaves those beautiful dolphins in our oceans.
4. Will Your Bucket List Amazon Trip Still Be A Possiblity?
National Geographic explains that at the current rate of deforestation, our rain forests could completely vanish over the next 100 years. Holy Moly!
- Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of amazon deforestation and 80% of all worldwide deforestation.
- Every 6 seconds an acre of rainforest is chopped to make room for animal farming.
- We bulldoze 7 football fields of land per minute to create more room for farming animals.
So by the looks of things, we’re destroying our lands due to unnecessary habits, which are part of our Western lifestyle.
5. Who Left Their Smelly Welly’s out?
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of co2, nitrous oxide and methane emissions, which are the top three greenhouse gasses. Therefore our focus on reducing transport emissions (which is clearly a noble goal too) is nowhere near as important as reducing those from animal agriculture.
- Animal agriculture emissions are estimated to increase by 80% by 2050
- cow burps and farts make up 20 percent of U.S. methane-gas emissions.
- With 130 x more animal than human waste is produced each day and it has to end up somewhere!
- It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein.
Why would it help to eat less meat? A 2008 study concluded that a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for more than 7x as much greenhouse gas emissions than a vegans. So if you go meat-free just one day a week, you’ll be making a significant difference.
If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and ate vegan food instead, it would be like taking 500,000 cars off the road.
The University of Chicago found that going vegan would do more towards climate change than switching from a standard car to a hybrid.
Hanging out with Emu’s in Colombia.
7. If You Like Pretty Flowers…
Livestock grazing is the no1 cause of plant species becoming threatened or going extinct.
A pretty little bunch from Sydney’s Double Bay market.
8. Land Is Running Out
- 7 football fields of land are bulldozed every minutre to create more room for farm animals
- Raising animals for food uses 30% of the earth’s land mass (the same size of the whole of Asia)
- Animal agriculture is taking up 70% of agricultural land
- 91% of the Amazon’s destruction is due to bulldozing to make space for animal farming.
- Every minute 7m lb’s of animal exretement lads on our Earth
- Plant based living requires 1/3 of the land a mainstream diet does
Paragliding over the beautiful lands of Colombia’s Medellin (Escobar’s hometown)
9. Impact On Global Warming
Agriculture is the biggest contributor to global warming, in fact it is having a more damaging effect than all types of transport combined.
10. Reducing Poverty
- Worlds cattle alone eat enough calories to feed over 8billion people
11. Having Clean Waters To Swim In
Waters are getting clogged up with waste from animal agriculture. With 1 million animals being eaten every hour in the US alone, the amount of waste this is causing is drastic.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that animal agriculture is the number 1 cause of water pollution and the Union of Concerned Scientists & Al Gore’s Live Earth say that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about anything else that we do.
The United Nations pleads for a shift towards a vegan diet to avoid the effects of global warming. So what are you waiting for—the polar ice caps to melt? Hashtag meatfreemonday
Oh and if you need one more interesting bit of info to sway you to falafel over frankfurters on Monday….
In West Virginia and Maryland, male fish are growing ovaries. Scientists suspect this is caused by factory-farm run-off from drug-laden chicken faeces mmmmmm chicken wings for dinner.
Hopefully theres a few facts in there that you’ve found interesting. Although I’ve focuses on the environmental factors as the big picture stuff is what really shocked me when I started learning about the effects of agriculture on our beautiful world, it is important to remember that:
People might be living longer but they are also spending a larger proportion of their lives sick. In fact, today, half of all Americans are on prescription pills – Dr. Michael Greger.
- Nearly 95% of pesticides a human eats comes from meat/dairy/egg products
- Meat is often contaminated with faeces and blood which is often the cause of food poisoning
- Significantly lower rates of colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes
This is a good thing for pharmaceutical companies as there is no money in dead people (aside from for my family who are undertakers…sorry that’s a bit sick actually).
If you’re looking for a meat free recipe to try I highly recommend…
- Source: IME
- The Wageningen University and Research Centre