A recent study made by researchers of the University of Oxford and the Swiss agricultural research institute and published by Science Magazine found that cutting meat and dairy products from our diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.
Based on this study, a litre of “sustainable” cow’s milk uses almost two times as much land and creates almost double the emissions as an average litre of soymilk.
Is a plant-based vegan diet more sustainable?
Livestock is the world’s largest user of land resources, with pasture and arable land dedicated to the production of feed representing almost 80% of the total agricultural land. One-third of global arable land is used to grow feed, while 26% of the Earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface is used for grazing.Source: https://www.globalagriculture.org/report-topics/meat-and-animal-feed.html
The answer is: Yes.
At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.Source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
With the majority of land used for animal agriculture, and yet, the majority of the worldwide population is living under the line of poverty, we can deduct that the vast majority of land is used to feed a low percentage of the worldwide population.
Based on these studies, poverty is not decreasing. With poverty comes malnutrition, affecting the functions of the brain, intelligence and physical health. The development of a country with high rates of malnutrition is practically impossible.
Will a plant-based diet eradicate poverty?
No. But it will decrease the price of quality food and help to eradicate malnutrition, while increasing the quality of life of all living beings. It will make humans healthier, what will generate innumerable social benefits that consequently increase the possibilities of reducing poverty. And as per our inner and spiritual development, it will make love and compassion blossom.
Eating more plant-based foods can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart diseaseSource: https://www.mayoclinic.org/power-plant-based-diet-for-heart-health/art-20454743
Also, plant-based food is cheaper.
“But humans eat animals since thousands of years!”
Not really. Only after WWII animals started to be farmed massively. Before that, most people ate meat once a week or less. Only the rich had access to animal flesh daily. During the Middle Ages, most people followed a plant-based/vegetarian diet. The origin of desease was related to hygiene rather than nutrition.
The peasants‘ main food was a dark bread made out of rye grain. They ate a kind of stew called pottage made from the peas, beans and onions that they grew in their gardens. Their only sweet food was the berries, nuts and honey that they collected from the woods. Peasants did not eat much meat.Source: https://www.historyonthenet.com/medieval-food
We are what we eat.
70% of soy production is destined to animal agriculture, making farmed animals the biggest consumers of GMO. The effects of GMO in the body are many, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. Most people cannot afford “organic”, therefore, most people eat GMO through animals products.
And what about mental health?
With social media, investigations made by animal rights activists have shed a light of what happens inside a slaughterhouse. At least half of the worldwide population owns a cat or a dog or another pet animal, and the only reason people still eat farmed animals is that they don’t think about the way they are raised and slaughtered. Animal agricultural businesses aim to lower costs, which also means lowering the quality of life for these animals. In most cases, these animals will never see the sunlight; they will live their entire lives in tiny cages or reduced space, where they are not even able to turn around. Many of these animals die before they are sent to slaughter, due to poor living conditions. If we add to this the killing and discard of those who are not profitable, animal farming becomes the “excellence” of extreme exploitation.
But… do animals feel?
Those who have animals at home (50% of the worldwide population) know that animals feel. But if this is not enough to believe that animals are sentient beings that feel just like us, we only need to look at what it is being done in animal experimentation, specially on psychological experiments on all kind of animals that are used to understand human psychology.
Despite most people are aware of this, most prefer not to think about it. Denial brings stress as consequence. Every time we avoid feelings that are uncomfortable, we stop listening to a part of ourselves that end up being ignored until it is totally buried. The consequences of this are detrimental to mental health.
Suppressing negative emotions can cause depression, low self-esteem and in some extreme cases physical illnesses! Research has shown that a large number of illnesses have psychological reasons that are directly or indirectly related to stress.Source: https://www.psychmechanics.com/2014/08/effects-of-suppressing-your-emotions.html
Why some people gets angry when meeting vegans? Is it because of suppressed emotions?
Yes. Vegans, and specially animal rights activists, cause inner turmoil in many people. The Ego will do whatever possible to keep the sense of self intact, and anger displayed towards vegans is a form to deflected guilt.
Will a plant-based diet stop mass extinction?
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/humanity-wiped-out-animals-since-1970-major-report-finds
The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland. And we know that most of farmland usage is for animal agriculture.
I was not born vegan. I never researched how my food was made just until a few years ago. Even in my adult life, I thought cows had always milk and they didn’t suffer. I didn’t think that a cow has to have a baby, who was going to be removed a few hours later after birth to keep their mother’s milk for human consumption. I didn’t know that calves were prevented from walking to keep their flesh “tender”. I didn’t know that eating eggs meant millions of male chicks killed in horrendous ways a day after birth for being unprofitable. I didn’t know that mother pigs were confined to cages where they would spend their whole lives laying down in darkness breeding again and again. I didn’t know that hens and chickens lived in cages where they couldn’t spread their wings… ever. And I didn’t know that those animals that start being less profitable (less milk, fewer eggs, etc.), were sent to slaughter as a useless commodity. Same happens with horses, goats, sheep, etc. When we are growing up, nobody explains this to us. We are not guilty of what it has been done to animal nor our indifference. It is taught to us. We inherited a system that was created in the past and that deceives to sell uncomfortable realities. But… times are changing. We have not only access to information thanks to the Internet and social media, but we also are going through an expansion of consciousness. The animal rights movement is growing and plant-based businesses are booming.
So… how to move to a plant-based diet? Here there is a list of resources that will help you in the transition.
Teal Swan (free teachings in Youtube on emotional health + tons of more on her website – free and premium)
Direct Action Everywhere – Animal Rights activism; become an activist or support activism. Chapters worldwide.
The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle PhD – Dr. Will Tuttle is a visionary speaker, educator, author, and musician. A former Zen monk with a Ph.D. from U.C., Berkeley, a vegan since 1980.
Vegan Spirituality – Free coaching, education and support for a vegan lifestyle.
The Vegan Society – How to Go Vegan
Dr. Schulze Herbal Medicine and Superfood. Natural Health and information about herbal healing.
Need more inspiration? Watch these films.
What The Health – by Kip Andersen.
Dominion – by Australian film maker Chris Delforce.