Want To Save The World? Stop Eating Meat And Dairy
Written by: Kat Gal
Clark Kent was just an average Joe until he showed off his shiny suit and became Superman, saving the world. Katniss Everdeen was an average girl living with her family, until she took a bold step trying to save her sister and ended up changing her world.
You don’t have to be Superman or Katniss, but you can save the world too. Yes, YOU. Just by reducing or eliminating meat and dairy from your diet, you can contribute to a better planet – the UN says so.
A recent UN report urges a global shift towards a vegan diet because it is absolutely essential to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and impacts of climate change.
The world’s population is rapidly growing. By 2050 we are predicted to have 9.1 billion people. Eating a diet rich in meat and dairy – as is popular in the U.S. and other Western countries – will simply be unsustainable, according to the UN.
As Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, explains, animal products are contributing to more damage to the environment than the production of construction minerals, such as metals or plastics. Crops for animals and biomass are also proven to be just as harmful as fossil fuels.
There is no way around it but to look for alternatives. The UN admits that the only way to substantially reduce environmental impact of animal products and to create a sustainable life on the Earth is a substantial worldwide diet change.
Only a year ago, Lord Nicholas Stern, former adviser to the Labor Government on the Economics of Climate Change suggested that a vegetarian diet is the way to go in order to create a better planet. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agreed and advised the world to incorporate at least one meat-free day into their diet. Though in recent years the number of people eating vegan, vegetarian, or simply less meat has increased, the UN is suggesting further action and for the continuous reduction of animal products.
The number of people is on a rise, incomes, consumption and demand for products (including food) is on the rise, yet all are leading to environmental degradation. This is the number one challenge we are facing today, according to Achim Steiner, the UN under-secretary general and executive director of the UNEP.
The UN report had stated that agriculture, especially meat and dairy products, account for a whooping 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of land use and 18% of greenhouse gas. Clearly, this is already a big problem. But by 2050 the global food production will increase by 70%. Our planet simply cannot take this growth of meat and dairy products.
Therefore, the UN continuously urges the reduction and elimination of meat and dairy from our diets.
No matter where you are at now, you have the power to do something about this. Even if you are eating animal products 3 meals a day or more, you can start reducing and eliminating your consumption one step and one meal at a time. Incorporate meatless Mondays. Don’t consume any animal products until lunch or dinner. If you are already a vegetarian, take the next step and start reducing your dairy intake as well. If you are a vegan, good for you: now focus on your nutrition and make sure to eat whole foods instead of vegan junk.
Remember, every step counts. Now is the best time to start. Will you be a superwoman or superman?
What steps will you take this week to reduce your meat and dairy consumption? Share with us in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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