The truth is that animals have just as much right as human beings to live safely on this planet; this is an undeniable fact. For the sake of development, people have constructed colonies and industrial houses, thereby eliminating the natural environment that used to exist around us.
This greenery is important, as it sustains various species ranging from microbes to mammals. The animals that were part of said environment have also been eliminated in the process. This has created an ecological imbalance, thereby making the survival of all creatures (including humans) increasingly difficult.
Human action and behavior depends on the consumption of food
We consume food because our body’s cells need nutrients to keep us healthy and alive. Our body and mind behave according to the food that we consume on a daily basis.
Through the principle of “ahimsa” the practitioners of yoga have advised us to consume plant foods that enable us to be healthy and active, and to avoid harm to nature. This is because, unlike animal products, plant products are created naturally.
We will have more physical energy in our body and be mentally alert and focused. We’ll also enjoy a restful sleep and experience more positive emotional states such as joy. In essence, our mind will become strong, happy, and positive through the consumption of plant-based foods.
Benefits of consuming plant-based foods
- promote healing from within
- eliminate toxins from the body
- reduce unhealthy cravings
- help us to lose weight
- reduce blood pressure
- strengthen our immune system
- reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, etc.
- make our brain healthy
- become highly resistant to various diseases
Therefore, plant-based foods contribute to our health and enable us to live longer lives.
The impact of animal-based products on the environment
Today, the human race is suffering from the consequences of using animal-based products: Our environment is affected by water and air pollution, deforestation, poverty, pandemics, and more. These crises have originated from the use of animals by humans, such as through animal agriculture and farming. Some examples are listed below:
- According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, animals raised for meat and dairy contribute to 65% of all emissions.
- The highest contribution to greenhouse emissions is beef (41%), pig meat (9%), buffalo milk and meat (8%), chicken and eggs (8%), and cattle milk (20%).
- Emissions from dairy—like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane—are responsible for the contribution of an estimated 18% to 20% of greenhouse gases.
- Water bodies surrounding animal farms are polluted by the various waste products produced by these animals.
- In the meat consumption industry, more water resources are used and are therefore one of the major contributors to water scarcity.
- Raising animals uses 80% of agricultural land. The dairy sector contributes to 18% of the world’s calories.
- Animal foods require heavier resources than plant-based foods, as more than half of emissions come from animal products.
The plant-based approach reduces the climate crisis
Living life with a plant-based approach has positive effects on the environment by alleviating the climate crisis.
- The 2016 World Resources Institute report states that a change of meat consumption habits will enable us to achieve the global goals related to hunger, healthy living, water management, and climate change.
- Through meat-free diets, we can cut our water footprint by half.
- Widespread studies of people living across the world who consume diets that are rich in grains and vegetables have shown beneficial effects.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) states that only 10% to 15% of daily calories come from protein. A diet rich in plant-based products will meet those requirements.
- A pioneering 2016 study from Oxford University stated that emissions could be reduced by as much as 70% through the worldwide adoption of a vegan diet.
- According to Oxford University Professor Joseph Poore, following a vegan diet helps to reduce our impact on planet Earth.
Thus, eating plant-based foods is important for a healthy lifestyle and a healthy planet, as it creates a positive impact on the planet by reducing the challenges it faces.
Professionals across the world recommend plant-based foods
Due to the numerous positive benefits of plant-based foods, they have been recommended by various high-profile individuals across the world:
- Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and peace activist from Vietnam, has said that switching to a plant-based diet helps us to stop climate change.
- Dr. Nandita Shah, founder of Sharan-India, won “Nari Shakti Puraskar 2016” (awarded by the President of India) for her pioneering work toward health and disease reversal through a plant-based diet, which she recommends to her patients.
- In his Oscars message, Joaquin Phoenix, a Hollywood actor and animal activist, stated that “humans should collectively work to reduce the climate crisis by choosing plant-based products rather than animal products.”
Thus, many professionals recommend a plant-based diet to become healthy, feel better, and live longer. Live and let live for the betterment of this world through a plant-based journey.
To contribute to the betterment of our planet and all its beings, humans need to connect with plant-based products. This approach would help other sentient beings to live as safely as humans. Live and let live for the betterment of you, your family, and environment, as well as for all the other creatures on this planet.
Lakshman Molleti (Concept), Harish Edamadaka (Content Writer), Isabelle Anne Abraham (Proofreader), Shweta Sharma (Artist)
Note: All the content is derived from our personal experience as well as from sources who did detailed research on a plant-based journey. It is the reader’s responsibility to double-check the information before they make any lifestyle/health-related decision.