Plant-based diets are not only healthier they are also sustainable and have lower environmental impact than meat-based diets. As the world progresses, more people are changing to meat diets, which include environmentally demanding products like beef, pork, fish and chicken, as their income levels increases and meat becomes more popular and less expensive, thus leaving traditional plant-based diets behind. This is, however, alarming as the production of meat-based diets has much greater negative impacts on our environment that plant based agriculture and practices.
Natural resources such as water and plants fed on by animals are the most affected resource aspects as a result of excessive consumption of meat-based diets. Plant-based diets do not require a vast amount of water, and hence, such diets are more sustainable and have lower direct environmental impact than a meat-based diet. Dairy cows, for instance, require to be fed on rich mineral land that is ideal for plant growth to be fed by a large group of people or community. Production of beef requires an immense amount of water resource and switching to plant-based diet or meat alternatives such as complete vegan protein like hemp seed can be a great step towards reducing environmental impact.
The largest issue we face globally with meat production is that livestock production for meat-based diets is emitting huge amounts of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. This could have an adverse effect due to climate change such as droughts or floods in unusual areas not to mention overall global warming due to ozone holes. According to various estimates by professional groups, research shows that production of livestock produces close to half of all greenhouse gas emissions by man and in the future it could be higher if the trend continues. Plant-based diets, on the other hand, pose minor risk in comparison towards the contribution of climate change and are the right diet to be observed by anyone concerned or determined to prevent climate change and global warming. Meat-based diets promote production of methane gas, which is one of the main gasses that instigate emissions that cause global warming.
Water and air pollution is another environmental aspect significantly affected by meat-based diets due to livestock feeding and production. Huge amounts of urine and manure produced by livestock greatly affect the natural resources and land they stand upon. Switching to plant-based products can significantly reduce this environmental impact. This livestock waste can cause much disease and spread can interfere with human health.
A meat-based diet is also a major hurdle to human health and lifestyle as it has been linked through many studies to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. A meat-based diet is the major contributor to excessive weight gain due to higher than recommended intake of saturated and trans fats, and also contributes to coronary heart disease by raising bad blood cholesterol. Plant-based diets contribute to healthy eating positively through balanced nutritional profiles and switching to this diet will assure you of a longer and healthy life as well as may aid as a preventative from many common ailments that face us today such as diabetes, heart health, and cancer etc. Since meat-based diets require food to be cooked, risk of exposure to diseases of bacteria is high is not well cooked. Plant-based diets only require to be cooked for a shorter time, if at all, and do not pose any major threat through related diseases such as meat.
Livestock production, which operated on demand from and has catered to the meat-based diets market, has also contributed to the destruction of the rainforests. Tropical rainforests are being destroyed to provide farms for raising livestock or avail animal food. Rainforests are vital for clean water supply as well as oxygen supply in our planet, and their destruction could adversely affect future generations. Additionally, several plant species depend heavily on these rainforests for their survival, and their destruction means the end for such eco-cycle of plant species. Plant-based diets do not require as much land and space for their agricultural growth and production.
Plant-based diets are more sustainable and have little to no environmental impact compared to meat-based diets and should be the ideal choice for anyone wishing to promote healthy sustainable living and environment, and ultimately protect the earth through better global agricultural balance.
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