Plantriotic.com provides you with services and content on plant-based nutrition and environmental sustainability.
A plant-based diet and lifestyle WILL have profound effects on your health, ethical compass, sense of compassion, athletic performance, sleeping habits, physique, and beyond. What is beautiful about plant-based nutrition is that the personal benefits are only the tip of the iceberg. What is most impressive about this change is that eating a plant-based diet is the single most beneficially action a person, family, community, or entire nation can make in terms of mitigating natural disasters of climate change.
Plantriotic: Showing patriotism for the planet by adopting a plant-based lifestyle.
A World Watch Institute study in 2009 found that all livestock agriculture (including factory farming and small scale free range farming) is responsible for 51% of total US green house gas emissions in the 21st century. This includes emissions in agriculture, slaughter, processing, waste management, transportation, and storage. Another aspect of livestock’s negative impact is due to methane emissions (the second most potent GHG), which is naturally emitted from livestock animals.
If the environment does not strike your interest, maybe the moral implications do. There are both animal ethic and human rights issue with eating meat and animal products. Most everyone believes that human beings deserve to be treated with respect, comfort, and not be tortured or murdered with no reason. Humans come in different shapes, sizes, colors, interests, and ways of living. What connects all humans is the ability to to feel and experience pain and emotions. With these classifications, animals are no different than humans in terms of it being immoral and cruel to abuse, torture, and kill sentient, emotional beings for no purpose other then pleasure of using them as food. Over 65 billion animals with parents, sensory and emotional feelings, and relationships, are raised and killed each year for human consumption and use. In the United States alone, that number is 10 billion. Animals are killed for human food, cosmetic and hygienic products, apparel, art, and most baffling for pleasure. The most famous work addressing the cruelty of raising animals for food and use is a piece called Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.
There are also many human rights issues with raising animals as food in the ways we do today. The billions of livestock animals that humans breed and birth every have to eat too, and because they are raised in confinement their whole lives, we must bring their food to them. While wild animals forage and hunt, livestock rely on humans to grow plant foods to then feed to the animals so that we can eventually eat them. The issue with this systems is that it takes A LOT of food and calories to feed a cow, pig, or chicken up until the point of maturity when it is ready to be slaughtered. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef (1,500 calories), while it takes only 25 gallons of water to grow 1 pound of wheat (also 1,500 calories). What this means, is that for the same about of calories that can feed the population, it takes 100 times the amount of water to raise animal products than to grow plant based foods. In a time of extreme drought around the world, and entire countries threatened with contaminated unsafe drinking water, wasting this much of our most precious resource is disastrous. Similarly, over 70% of the cropland in the United States is fed to cattle, while only 2% of cropland in the country is used to grow fruits and vegetables for human consumption. The issue of hunger is not about growing enough food. We currently grow enough food today to feed 10 billion people (which is 3 billion more then the global population), but those calories are being wasted by feeding animals instead of humans.
The reasons to go plant-based are not only to avoid the negative impacts of eating animals. There are even more benefits to eating only plants then their are consequences of eating animals. Plants contain unique nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients that are only found in plants. The definition of a vitamin is a nutrient that animals cannot make on their own but is necessary for healthy bodily function, thus the only way to ingest them are through plants.
Plants are natures medicine, but can only function as medicine if they are not being threatened and damaged by the consumption of toxic forces. This is why health in moderation does not work. This is why seemingly healthy marathon runners can drop dead of a heart attack. There is no safe and healthy moderate consumption of unhealthy foods such as meat (chicken, fish, cow, pig, rabbit, turkey, pic etc.), dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.), or processes junk foods such as oils (olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil, etc.), white breads, candy, and fried foods. Simply put, the kale in a kale and chicken chop salad is not powerful enough to counteract the fat, cholesterol, and protein being injected into the body which can contribute to the growth of chronic diseases, weight gain, and inflammation.
Michael Pollen is known for his famous quote which he says underlies the framework for a healthy diet.
Eat Food…Mostly Plants…Not Too Much.
While Michael Pollen has done a great service to the wold on exposing the unsustainable practicing of factory farming and processed food industry, I wouldn’t listen to his nutritional advice exactly. Here is my version on Mr. Pollen’s catch phrase.
Eat Food…Only PlantS…AS MUCH AS YOU WANT!
That sounds way healthier and more appropriate to me. “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. Hippocrates said it 2,430 years ago, and it has never been truer then it is today! Embark on this blissful, compassionate, sustainable, tasty, rewarding, and fun journey of plant based nutrition.
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