Industrialized slaughter of cows and pigs and other animals, as well as the dairy industry, causes all kinds of pollution; more, in fact, than every single car’s emissions in the country. If you're the owner of or worker in one of those slaughterhouses or dairy farms, don't get mad at me. Join me in producing supply to meet the demand of the biggest up-and-comer around: plant protein. You can stay in the "meat" and "dairy" industry; but switch to plant-based farming which will allow you to actually enrich the soil through the organic farming of crops desperately needed to fill a gigantically growing demand from the plant-based milk and "meat" markets (sunflower seeds, peas, quinoa, buckwheat, the list goes on and on). Indeed, the vegan (plant-based) snack market is set to be worth $73 billion by 2028 (read more here) and more and more consumers are becoming educated on the significant health benefits of plant-based eating. Companies like my beloved A2Px exist specifically to help animal farmers transition to more lucrative plant-based farmers to create vibrant and much-needed new plant supply chains; breaking antiquated old chains that harm our farmers, planet and overall health. Message them to learn more at https://www.facebook.com/A2Px1/.
Further, the meat product of industrialized slaughter is not good for us despite what too many of our politicians and lobbyists might say (as they line their pockets with cash from special interest groups – ahem). As National Geographic put it: "industrial feedlots where castle stand knee-deep in their own feces, pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones for them; clogged arteries, obesity and heart attacks for us." See National Geographic (emphasis added). In other words, being carnivorous in our crazy world is polluting the planet and making us fat and sick.
Only 1 in 10 Americans eats the recommended amount of produce and, if we increase our fruit and veggie consumption and go to a primarily plant-based diet, we could prevent 20,000+ cases of cancer EVERY YEAR! While we’re at it, we will also lower our risk of high blood pressure, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
On the fat thing, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that people on plant-based diets lost around 10 lbs/month when they first began going plant-based, regardless of calorie counting or exercise. Obviously, your weight will stabilize at some point. This is a study of overweight people trying to lose weight.
Seafood doesn’t save you because remember the microplastics issue we discussed above? Fish, lobster, shrimp, etc., are full of them! According to a terrifying NIH study that I read so you don’t have to, we are looking at some serious microplastic contamination with all the associated health risks.
Around this point, a lot of people start screaming, BUT PROTEIN!! First of all, ALL plant-based foods contain some protein. Animal flesh is not the exclusive protein holder of the world. The difference is some plants do not have “complete proteins” – in other words, all 9 amino acids. Note: buckwheat and quinoa have all 9 amino acids and are thus complete proteins on their own. Take that, hamburger! But even for the rest of our plant protein friends, you just have to “stack” them (in other words, eat two different types together – like rice and beans, for example) to get your complete protein. There. That wasn’t so hard.
Now, I know. So-called comfort food is full o’ animal flesh and dairy. But what if you could have your cake and eat it too? You can! There are amazing veggie burgers, vegan milks, plant-based seafood, ice-cream, basically anything your heart desires. It just takes a little gumption and a commitment to your and your family’s health and well-being (oh, yeah, and the planet).
I blogged extensively on this here:
General Overview of Excellent Brands Supplying Plant-Based Comfort Foods - http://jenniferbetityen.weebly.com/ethical-is-beautiful-be-beautiful-a-blog/the-best-nom-noms-for-health-home-heart
Plant-Based Dairy - http://jenniferbetityen.weebly.com/ethical-is-beautiful-be-beautiful-a-blog/for-the-love-of-cheese
Plant-Based Meats - http://jenniferbetityen.weebly.com/ethical-is-beautiful-be-beautiful-a-blog/ethical-meat-lovers-meat-guide
Plant-Based Seafood – some good options here are Sophie’s Kitchen (I love their seafood jambalaya) and Good Catch. Just check in with your local health food store or order from the companies’ websites.
If this seems overwhelming, check out my recipes on this blog and, if you need someone else to jump start you, try a food delivery service temporarily just to get ideas and the hang of it, such as Sakara (https://www.sakara.com) or Purple Carrot (https://www.purplecarrot.com).
A well-reviewed (but not free) app that helps you find healthy plant-based restaurant options near you, virtually anywhere in the world is "Happy Cow": www.happycow.net/mobile
Basically, eating plant-based is good for you and it’s good for the planet. According to the Guardian:
Appealing to the various drivers of people’s diet choices could help address not only the nation’s obesity problem, but also the environmental impacts of food production, even the stability of the food supply chain. For example, decreased consumption of meat could have a major impact on water usage. According to Arlin Wasserman, founder of food consultancy Changing Tastes, Americans currently get about 15% of their protein from plant-based sources. Shifting that to 25% could result in enough water savings to provide two-thirds of California’s water supply.
So go eat your plants, vegetables and grains and be happy, healthy and free!