A Path to . . .

Why A Plantiful Path? There are so many reasons to follow a plant based diet. And with such a plentiful world of plant based foods and flavors, there is no reason not to add more plant based dishes to your menu!

Here are some of the many reasons I’ve chosen to go vegan.

A path to better health:

Following an oil-free whole food plant based diet has been shown to prevent or even reverse many health conditions. Some of these include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, allergies, digestive disorders, acne, and arthritis.

POSITION STATEMENT It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.

See my Resources page for more information regarding plant based diets and health.

A path to a more compassionate world:

Cattle Feedlot.
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Every year over 56 billion farmed animals are killed for food. These animals are kept in horrible conditions, and live a life of discomfort and terror. It is hard to justify putting our fellow inhabitants on this planet through this misery when we don’t need to eat animal products to be healthy and to survive.

In addition, over 18 million acres of forest are destroyed each year to provide grazing area for cattle and to grow animal feed. The reduction in rainforest takes away habitat for wild animals, many of which are endangered species.

A path to a better environment:

In October 2018, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that we have only 12 years to limit climate disaster. Major lifestyle and consumption changes are immediately needed to prevent the average global temperature from increasing more than 1.5°C.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Only 5 percent of global man made carbon dioxide emissions come from animal agriculture. But a whopping 44 percent of man made emissions are in the form of methane from factory farm animals. These methane emissions are about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Polluted Waterways

The enormous amounts of waste products from these factory farms results in runoff containing high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and synthetic fertilizers. As this runoff enters our streams, rivers, and eventually the ocean, it creates algal blooms and polluted waterways. This harms and kills aquatic life, and contributes to dead zones in our oceans.

Use of Resources

Animal agriculture is very resource intensive. It takes about 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. That pound of beef requires 20 times the land and produces 20 times the the emissions as producing a pound of beans.

In fact, according to Our World in Data, 50 percent of the earth’s habitable land is used for agriculture. 77 percent of that is used for animal agriculture. But that same land produces only 17 percent of the calorie supply and 33 percent of the world’s protein supply. The remaining 23 percent of agricultural land is used for plant based food. This amount of land produces 83 percent of the world’s calorie supply and 67 percent of the protein supply.

This habitual taste for meat and other animal based foods is just not sustainable. It takes 2 to 3 acres per person to sustain an animal based diet. Food for a vegan only requires a sixth of an acre per person. Global population is currently about 7.5 billion. And with 8 billion acres of arable land it would take 2 to 3 planet earths to sustain the animal based diet.

By the year 2050, the global population is expected to increase to almost 10 billion. This makes it all the more critical to switch our dietary patterns. [Source] Adopting a vegan diet is the number one way we can help save our planet.

With so many reasons to go vegan, I hope you choose to join me on a plantiful path.