The major reasons people switch to plant-based food or diets are to improve personal health, saving animals, and for eco-friendly living. More and more studies are revealing the harmful impact of industrial animal farming. Moreover, they provide easy breeding grounds for harmful viruses and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Also, people are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of following a vegetarian or vegan diet like weight management, reduced risk for cardiovascular diseases, etc. In this article, we will explore how a plant-based diet can benefit the earth, read on to know more.
Preserving Water Resources
Studies have shown that livestock farming for meat consumes huge amounts of water. For example, to produce 1 kg of meat 13,500 liters of water is required, whereas only 238 liters of water is required for producing 1kg of corn. Besides, if not handled properly, the pools of manure that animal farming produces often lead to the pollution of water sources. On top of this, it also causes acid rain because of the excessive ammonia produced by livestock farms. On the contrary, raising plants for food consumption does not have any such adverse effects on the water bodies and helps in their preservation.
Preserving The Diversity Of Species And Nature
Cattle farming is one of the major reasons for deforestation that contributes to global warming. For example, the Amazon rainforest is destroyed for cultivating soy that is an important livestock feed. This is also, one of the reasons why Sustainable Food Trust is asking vegans to cut back the use of plant-based milk from soy to save the planet.
Reducing Ecological Footprint
Cattle grazing results in the production of greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane that causes climate change. Also, keep in mind that the egg, dairy, and meat industry is responsible for 65% of global nitrous oxide emissions. Both methane and nitrous oxide are 20 times and 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere. This increases the atmospheric temperature that negatively impacts our health. So, the best way to offset this is to switch to consuming plant-based food. This is because, plants do not produce methane and nitrous oxide, and they absorb and store atmospheric CO2.
The best way to switch to a plant-based diet that has the least environmental impact is to switch to a vegan diet. But if it is not suitable for you, you can opt for a vegetarian diet. Also, there are other alternatives like a flexitarian diet where you eat more plant-based food while decreasing the intake of animal products. You can protect the environment through your diet choices, and it requires a united effort from all.