Friday, June 13, 2014

How eating a plant-based diet can save the world


It seems that we are heading toward an environmental crisis. Global temperatures are rising; ice caps are melting, and much of our green land is turning to desert. Resources such as water and fossil fuels are becoming scarce, whilst the demand for them increases due to growing populations and widespread industrialization.

If humans are to continue living on this earth, it is evident that we need to start changing some of our habits. A good place to begin may be with the food that we eat.

The Plant-Based Diet

Our food choices are powerful. Not only can they affect the way we think, feel and perform, but they can also have an impact on the planet we live on.

Over the last 100 years, rises in affluence have led to a marked shift in our dietary patterns. As our economic power has increased, so too has our consumption of meat and dairy products, especially in the Western world. In 2012, the people of the USA consumed around 52 billion pounds of meat, compared to 9.8 billion in 1908 [1]. Similar patterns are also being observed in less developed regions, as industrialization spreads across the globe.

Just because we have the option to consume more and more animal products does not necessarily mean that it is a good idea. A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights that current practices of agriculture and livestock production contribute on a massive scale to climate change, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation and biodiversity decline [2].

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