Healthy you. Healthy planet.
Why adopt a plant based diet?
Would you like to live a longer, more vibrant life? Reduce your impact on the environment? Help stop animal suffering? It could be as simple as changing your diet. The truth is our traditional way of thinking about nutrition is killing us – causing increased rates of heart disease, cancer, obesity and more. It's time we opened our minds to a new way of looking at food.
For your health
We all want to look younger and live longer. Forget about all the expensive treatments – an alkalising plant based diet is the cheap and easy way to go! Studies have shown that by adopting a plant based diet you can experience an increased life expectancy whilst subsequently reducing your risk of many of our leading health epidemics including: obesity, heart disease, various cancers, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, arguably the foremost epidemiologist in the world, states, "Quite simply, the more you substitute plant foods for animal foods, the healthier you are likely to be. I now consider veganism to be the ideal diet. A vegan diet—particularly one that is low in fat—will substantially reduce disease risks. Plus, we've seen no disadvantages from veganism. In every respect, vegans appear to enjoy equal or better health in comparison to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians."
Heart disease or cardiovascular diseases, which cause heart attacks and strokes are the number one killers in Australia and the western world. 1 Australian dies from cardiovascular disease every 10 minutes. With our current lifestyle habits most of us will either experience it ourselves or know someone close to us who does. Whilst the disease has a number of contributing factors, one of the primary causes is a diet high in cholesterol and artery clogging saturated fats as well as being low in fibre.₁ Animal products such as dairy, eggs and meat (including fish and chicken) are in general high in saturated fats and cholesterol and contain little to no fibre. The good news is by adopting a plant based diet which is low in saturated fats, contains no cholesterol at all and is high in fibre, you can literally half your likelihood of every experiencing or suffering from heart disease.₂
In the same way that these acidic, fatty foods play a key role in causing heart attacks and strokes, this same artery clogging affect can even cause impotence! Fortunately studies have proven that a healthy well balanced plant based diet can not only reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels but in fact reverse atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), one of the main causes.
Overweight? On average those who follow a plant based diet are lighter and leaner than their meat eating counterparts. After making the switch to a vegan diet many people report feeling more energized and vibrant as well as noticing great results in terms of excess weight loss. Published studies in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition and The New England Journal of Medicine states that meat eaters are far more likely to be overweight than vegetarians.₃
Furthermore the consumption of animal products has been strongly linked to causing and promoting cancer in various studies. For example, in nine different studies, the strongest and most consistent dietary factor linked with prostate cancer (the most prominent cancer in males) was a high consumption of milk or dairy products. In the largest of these, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, men who drank two or more glasses of milk a day were almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as those who didn't drink milk at all.₄
For the planet
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet" – Albert Einstein.
Smart man that Albert. I think he was onto something...
Now days many of us are vastly more conscious about our environmental footprint. Taking steps to reduce our impact on the world in which we live for future generations.
We switch to energy saving light bulbs, use power and water saving devices, switch to renewable energy sources, buy hybrid cars and even offset our carbon emissions when we take a flight. Yet one of the easiest and simplest changes we can make that would drastically affect our environmental footprint is often overlooked. What we put into our mouths can have a far greater impact on our planet than most of us are aware.
Going 'green' environmentally means going 'green' nutritionally! A plant based diet uses far less resources (fossil fuels, water, land etc) than does a standard meat based diet. Senior United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization official Dr. Henning Steinfield states that the meat industry is "one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems". The report Livestocks Long Shadow, carried out by the United Nations goes onto state that the livestock sector produces more greenhouse gas emissions that the entire transport sector. That is all the planes, trains, buses and other automobiles we use on a daily basis, combined. The report also highlights that globally livestock now use 30% of the entire earths land surface, much obtained through deforestation.₅ More recently a new report from the United Nations International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management looked at the environmental impacts of consumption and production. Some of the findings include:
- A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.
- Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives.
- More than half of the world's crops are used to feed animals, not people.₆
Now that's food for thought.
For the animals
In Australia today we slaughter over 500 millions animals every year for food, and that's not including marine life. These animals are all subjected to practises that if done to your cat or dog would warrant cruelty to animal charges. By consuming a plant based diet you will be directly standing up against animal cruelty.
Animals on farms today can expect to experience a range of the following – debeaking, intense confinement & overcrowding, dehorning, teeth clipping, tail cutting, castration, ammonia burns, defeathering, mastitis, broken legs, wings and more all without pain relief. Following this they'll be carted in crowded trucks to a slaughterhouse at a fraction of their natural lifespan. Here they will either be stunned by electrocution or receive a bolt into the skull before being hung upside down, having their throats slit and being dismembered. At the slaughterhouse a percentage of animals will go through this processing line whilst still conscious due to an increased demand for a faster and cheaper end product.
You can make a difference. The average meat eater consumes around 100 animals every year. By opting for a healthy, well balanced plant based diet you will effectively be saving up to 100 animals from enduring such cruelty. Make the switch and become a life saver!
1. The Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat – Compassion in World Farming: http//www.ciwf.org/publications/reports/The_Global_Benefits_of_Eating_Less_Meat.pdf
2. Heart disease in British vegetarians, Burr & Butland
3. Robbins, Diet for a New America, 290.
4. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Havard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating by: Walter C Willet, M.D
5. Livestock's Long Shadow, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (2006)
6. Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production, United Nations International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management. http://www.unep.org/resourcepanel/documents/pdf/PriorityProductsAndMaterials_Report_Full.pdf