By Bronte Kass
You probably know someone who is vegetarian or vegan, but how familiar are you with what that means?
What you put into your body is a very personal decision, and in no way do I claim to be a nutritionist! However, removing meat and animals products is the way I’ve been able to eat most ethically.
More than a diet or the latest trend, being plant-based is a lifestyle with significant benefits for your health, for your wallet, for other human beings, and for the planet – in addition to saving the lives of between 200 and 300 animals every year!
Why should you eat a plant-based meal this week?
- For the animals:
- Protect chickens, pigs, cows, and sea life from the reality of today’s factory farms
- One of my favorite informative links explaining dairy
- The egg industry
- For the environment
- Meat and dairy are over ¼ of our water foot print
- The leading source of deforestation is animal agriculture
- Also the most prominent source of carbon emissions -more than all types of transportation combined!
- Pollution from animal waste is poisoning our waterways
- Every day, a plant-based eater saves 1,100 gallons of water, 30 square feet of rainforest, and 20 pounds of carbon dioxide – amazing!
- For your health
- 57 health benefits of not eating meat, eggs or dairy
- Athletes from NFL Quarterbacks to the world’s number one tennis players are becoming plant-based for their health and career
- For other humans
- Protect worker from unsafe conditions on the cruel farms
- Did you know fishing and seafood industries support modern day slavery? A plant-based diet: Save 8 million lives, $1 trillion in health care, 70% reduced emissions
- Fight world hunger: We currently produce enough food to feed the world, but give it to animals we later kill instead
Additionally, there are extensive books and Internet resources on this topic, from support transitioning and delicious recipe ideas, to educational videos and powerful documentaries (I recommend Cowspiracy or Earthlings).
I’ve been vegetarian and now vegan for over five years – and my only regret is not doing it sooner! I encourage you to do some research and explore the benefits of being plant-based beyond your preconceived notions, the typical vegan stereotypes or what the media says. There is no better time to take care of your health, bring compassion to your plate, and leave meat and animals products off it!