If you want to save the planet, go with a vegan lifestyle
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 14:03
This week, I would like to introduce the final deciding factor that drove me to become vegan. Drum roll, please ... our planet, Earth!
Yup, our very own home since Day One. Earth has given us water, shelter, life and so on. And what do we do in return? Pollute it by building slaughterhouses. Bad move. Factory farms release massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to what can possibly be the last straw for our green planet — global warming. These farms also contaminate local water supplies.
According to the United Nations, raising animals for food causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, ships and trains in the world combined.
Cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys on factory farms generate billions of pounds of drug-infested feces per year. The feces often end up in nearby waterways killing millions of fish and initiating other dangerous effects.
And listen to this: If my Meatless Monday rant interested you, having one meat-free day per week would have the same carbon dioxide savings as taking 8 million cars off U.S. roads, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
"Most UCF students are making an effort to go green, but the unarguable fact is, the biggest way to minimize your impact on climate change is by switching to a plant-based diet," said computer science major Michael Altfield. "And, in my opinion, it's one of the easiest changes you can make."
For those of you that still think this is a load of crap, you can do your part in other ways. Try eating and drinking less animal products or even better, try to eat organic meat produced from small farms where animals are raised without all the antibiotics and chemicals.
Meat isn't the only reason to go organic. Try going organic when you buy the "dirty dozen." More commonly known as: apples, bell peppers, blueberries, cherries, celery, imported grapes, peaches, nectarines, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries and spinach. These fruits and vegetables are higher in pesticide residue than others.
Back to my point. In the end, meat is bad for all involved. The consumption and production of meat causes bodily and environmental damages. If you're not motivated to give up meat for your own health and safety, give it up for the planet. The place we all call home.
The No. 1 response I get from meat-eaters when they find out our diets have nothing in common, is that, "humans need to eat meat in order to get enough protein."
False. Couldn't be any more wrong.
The fact of the matter is that a meat based diet contains an excessive amount of protein than our bodies actually need.
According to Dr. Reed Mangels, we need about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh. Calculate that and I guarantee that if you add up your daily intake of protein, it's significantly more than that.
So stop using that as an excuse, people. Like I have shared in past entries, you do not need to eat meat to get a sufficient amount of protein. By eating meat you are actually getting more than enough protein!
For more information about protein from Mangels, visit vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm
If you want to save the planet, be vegan.
It also couldn't hurt to get involved with the Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions organization on campus.