YOU MAY KNOW we are also eating our way to extinction. I didn’t. At best, I was only dimly aware of the impact of meat production and consumption on the climate crisis; burning fossil fuels was my focus. Turns out, I was way too narrowly focused; meat may be doing more damage to our planet and our health than anything else.
…it convinced Marianne and I to return to vegetarianism.
I have my friend Larry Shook and two documentary films he recommended to thank for this revelation. If you don’t know them, you should track them down. I found them both on Netflix streaming.
- The Game Changers. Stories about athletes—including the world’s strongest man—who switched from a meat-based to plant-based diet and dramatically improved their performance. Although, for me, a little over the top on superhuman achievement, Game Changers nonetheless makes a compelling case for not eating meat. Enough that it convinced Marianne and I to return to vegetarianism. Most alarming was realizing the monstrous overconsumption of resources and production of toxic, climate-devastating emissions meat production creates.
- Forks Over Knives. Primarily based on the work of two doctors, Colin Campbell, PhD, and Caldwell Esselstyne, MD, this film traces the evolution of their research and discoveries that the increasing intake of meat, dairy and refined sugars in America led directly to the explosion of heart disease, cancer and diabetes starting in the 20th century.
The myth of meat.
IT BEGAN in the mid 19th century when highly influential German chemist Justus von Liebig, famous for pioneering organic chemistry, speculated that only meat supported muscle growth and stamina. Due to his prestige, von Liebig’s notions were widely accepted, so much so that when emphatically disproven in 1882, the evidence was ignored. Instead, eight years later, the FDA promoted his assumptions as fact in their first Food Chart. Since then, meat, poultry and dairy interests have thrived and their increasing lobbying power have mostly prevented any actual facts from challenging the status quo.
The hidden costs.
ACCORDING TO these documentaries, besides causing pandemics of unnecessary cancers, heart disease, strokes and other diseases, the meat industry also:
- Generates 15% of global emissions—equal to all transportation sectors combined.
- Takes 75% of all available farmland out of production.
- Wastes 27% of all fresh water consumed.
- In US, produce 50 time more waste than its people.
- Consumes 6 times more protein than it produces.
- Is the largest factor in ongoing global deforestation.
Tastes great. Less costly.
IF ALL America went vegan, it would:
- Reduce agricultural emissions by 73%.
- Save 250 thousand gallons of water annually, per person.
- Dramatically reduce disease and suffering while increasing health.
- Dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.
I encourage you to check out these videos. Compared to installing solar panels, buying electric cars and/or becoming politically active, switching to a plant-based diet is not only easy and inexpensive (in fact it saves a fortune!), it will improve your health and energy. Plus, unlike say solar panels, it can be very tasty!
Change your diet, improve your health, save the planet.
— Just be smart. Every body is different. You can change gradually. Check with your doctor if you have concerns.
P O S T S C R I P T A U S T R A L I A
SO FAR, 27 people and over a billion animals have burned to death. We are the cause. True, we didn’t start the industrial/agricultural revolutions. True, we can’t change the past. Still, we can change our future trajectory. Or not…
“It’s up to me and it’s up to you…”