But why go, plant-based? These are my motivating factors...
Compassion for AnimalsThere is nothing humane about the process of killing an animal - factory farms being the worst offenders. I believe something doesn't have to die for us to live. After you've watched some video footage on slaughterhouses and the dairy and egg industry, you'll understand. The whole system is absolutely twisted, and I just hate the idea that I'm funding the abuse of innocent animals. Facts about factory farming:
- Four or more egg-laying hens are packed into a battery cage, a wire enclosure so small that none can spread her wings. Being held in such close confines, the hens' peck at each other's feathers and bodies.
- Pregnant sows spend each of their pregnancies confined to a gestation crate—a metal enclosure that is scarcely wider and longer than the sow herself. Unable to even turn around, sows develop abnormal behaviours and suffer leg problems and skin lesions.
- In factory dairies, cows spend their entire lives confined to concrete. Some cows are injected with the growth hormone rBGH to boost production, leading to lameness and mastitis, an udder's painful infection.
- To facilitate confinement of these animals in such stressful, crowded, unsanitary conditions, painful mutilations like cutting off the horns of cattle, cutting off the beaks of chickens, and docking the tails of sheep, pigs, and dairy cattle are routinely performed.
Eating Plant-Based is better for your health!There is simply NO denying it - the evidence is there - a vegetarian or vegan diet is better for your health than high meat, specifically a red meat diet. Vegetarian diets have been shown to support health, including a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity. (Source) Netflix movie to follow up with: Game Changers
Plant-Based diets are better for the environment.The environmental impact of meat consumption is staggering, contributing to climate change, pollution, deforestation, depleting freshwater reserves and contaminating and over-fishing our oceans. Some stats:
- In the United States alone, 56 million acres of land are used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres produce plants for humans to eat.
- More than 90% of all Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 is used for grazing livestock.
- The livestock industry contributes to global climate change, contributing between 12% and 18% to the total GHG emissions. (source)
- 1 kg of protein from beef needed 18 times more land, 10 times more water, 9 times more fuel, 12 times more fertilizer, and 10 times more pesticides than the same amount of proteins obtained from kidney beans.
- Vegetarian and vegan diets have a much smaller environmental footprint: a diet that incorporates beef meet regularly showed the highest carbon footprint (3160 kg CO2eq). Vegetarian and vegan diets had the lowest carbon footprint (55 and 1015 kg CO2eq, respectively) (source).