Donald Trump eats meat. Bill Clinton does not.
As a political activist who has attended more gala fundraisers than there are lawsuits against our former Orange President, I often wondered, as my comrades and I were served over-cooked chicken and tough fillet dinners, how can all of these kind-hearted, generous people, who care deeply about alleviating suffering, and the health of our planet — be eating animals?
Good News Veg is a preach-free zone, so I will educate and advise. Want to reduce your environmental footprint? Stop eating so much damn chicken and beef.
The Environmental Impact of Your Plate
A comprehensive study of 55,500 people (vegans, vegetarians, fish-eaters and meat-eaters) in the UK found, compared to meat-eaters, people who ate a plant-based diet (no meat, eggs or dairy), accounted for:
- 75% less greenhouse gas emissions,
- 75% less land use,
- 54% less water use,
- 73% less water pollution, and
- 66% less biodiversity loss.
Why? At least partly because raising animals uses a lot of land, which often leads to deforestation. And it takes a lot of fertilizer (typically made from fossil fuels) and water to grow enough food to feed all of those animals.
The Bottom Line: “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth,” concluded the study’s lead author.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
You don’t have to go full-out vegan to make a difference. Baby steps work.
Make a plan to cut back on the amount of meat and dairy you’re eating. Substitute that monthly “celebration” burger with a falafel burger (with all the fixings), or your Super Bowl chili con carne with Super Bowl chili sin carne. Lasting change does not happen overnight. Take it slowly.
For me, giving up dairy was a struggle. I broke the habit gradually by setting realistic goals. First, I stopped cooking with dairy — but I’d eat pizza out, with friends. I stopped buying logs of supermarket goat cheese, but continued to buy small chunks from the farm down the road, where I was certain the goats and land were treated kindly. It took two years to give up cream in my coffee. The key is to move in the right direction.
3 Reasons to Eat as if the Planet Depends on It
1. A U.N. Special Report on Climate Change found that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined.
2. Just one plant-based meal can save the same amount of carbon emissions it takes to drive a car across the U.S.
3. It takes 460 gallons of water to make one quarter-pound burger — the equivalent of taking 23 showers.
Support the Planet with Your Stomach
Comrades, come with me! Surely there’s a piquant pasta, bodacious burger or a comforting stew that is just as easy to cook, satisfying and delicious than your tired old turkey burger, meatloaf, or roast chicken. Multi-task while you’re charging your car. Scroll through these beginner-friendly vegan recipes, and find your new favorite new turkey, meatloaf, or chicken replacement.