Whether you're worried about the fate of bees around the globe, or how you'll manage a Waterworld-like future, it's commonplace today to be concerned about the environment. Unfortunately, it's also normal to feel powerless about improving it. Wouldn't it be better to just put on a movie, order something from that new meal service Toronto friends have been raving about, and forget about it? After all, what can one individual do?
You already engage daily in an activity that — with a few changes — could positively affect the planet. All you have to do is adopt a vegan diet. Benefitting the environment, it turns out, is as close to you as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Reduce Greenhouse Gases
Whether you choose a vegan meal prep service or learn the ropes of cooking without animal products yourself, adopting a vegan diet has been shown to reduce greenhouse gases. How? It reduces the demand for meat. A study published by the United Nations found that livestock-raising activities produce more methane and nitrous oxide worldwide than the entire transportation sector. In other words, meat and dairy production worldwide is more to blame for climate change than all our driving, flying, and cruise shipping combined.
Conserve Clean Water
Raising animals for meat, milk, and cheese accounts for roughly 1/3 of all the fresh water use on the planet. It's also a major source of water pollution. The pesticides and chemicals used in raising grains to feed livestock leach into the soil, polluting groundwater that then affects larger waterways. Additionally, the billions of tons of animal waste created through livestock industries ends up in rivers and streams, ravaging fragile ecosystems in the process. For a future with enough clean water, how we eat and what we eat must change. Eating a vegan diet is an obvious path to better water conservation and protection.
Build a Sustainable Future
What is sustainability? According to the Sustainable Communities Network, "Sustainability is the ability to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs." When you stop eating animal products, you're actively choosing to meet your own needs in a way that won't limit your children's and grandchildren's abilities to meet theirs later.
Besides reducing greenhouse gases and conserving clean water, a vegan diet — were more people to adopt it — would lead to a dramatic change in how land is used. Land that is currently used to grow food for animals could be used to grow food for people. It could be planted in trees to help offset the deforestation that's ruining animal habitats. It could house wind farms or solar panels to free us from our harmful dependence on fossil fuels.
Improving the environment, like building Rome, won't happen in a day, but small, daily acts can make a big impact. Change your diet, and go vegan. Support for the change is easy to find. Vegan restaurants that deliver can be found in almost every metropolitan area, and great vegan recipes abound. If you really want to better the planet, it's time to start eating like it.