With some simple changes to the way we eat, we can live healthier and more sustainably, and create a world where compassion and kindness extend to all animals.
There are dozens of reasons to embrace a plant-based life. Not only can eating a plant-rich diet offer significant benefits to your health, but it’s gentler on the planet, and of course, kinder to animals.
Eating plant-based food is kinder to animals
Eating plant-based can offer huge health benefits
Plant-based foods are more sustainable for the planet
Eating plant-based is kinder to animals.
All animals deserve kindness and a life worth living. But for millions of animals each year—those raised and killed for food—this remains but a dream, impacted by practices born in another era.
Particularly in large-scale industrial farms around the world, often referred to as ‘factory farms’, gentle-natured and intelligent animals—each with unique personalities and emotions—are treated as numbers, valued only for what their bodies can produce. Outdated laws deny them quality of life and human kindness.
Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur
Outdated practices, daily suffering.
In factory farms, animals wake each day only to suffer. Egg-laying hens are confined to cages so small they can’t even spread their wings. Mother pigs spend weeks at a time in crates barely bigger than their own bodies. Most of these animals are deprived of sunlight and natural diets, let alone the ability to express their natural behaviours.
Every plant-based meal reduces the demand for animal products that has underpinned these systems of suffering.
Behind every glass of milk or piece of cheese is a life cut short.
A male calf born on a dairy farm is known as a ‘bobby calf’ and as he cannot produce milk, he is not ‘useful’ to the dairy industry. He will be taken from his mother and sent to a slaughterhouse within days of being born, so that his mum’s milk can be bottled or turned into dairy products for humans. His mum will be impregnated repeatedly, and all her male calves, and some females, will suffer the same fate. When her milk production wanes she will also be sent to slaughter.
Male chicks born into the egg industry face a similarly grim fate, since they will not produce eggs. On their first day of life, they will be either gassed to death, or dropped into a metal grinding machine. This is the fate of millions of day-old chicks every year.
For most of us, eating animals is an inherited habit, rather than a conscious choice. By using your power as a consumer and making the kindest choice, you can bring these animals back into our circle of compassion – you can help create the pathway to a kinder world for all.
A plant-rich diet can improve your health.
Animals aren’t the only ones who will thank you for eating plant-based meals. Your body will probably thank you, too!
The science is in — diets centred around whole, plant foods (think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds) can provide myriad health benefits to individuals.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a meat-free diet can contribute to:
Less risk of cancer
Less risk of heart disease
Less risk of diabetes
Lowered blood pressure
Healthy, sustainable, body weight management
Lower mortality rate from disease
Increased life expectancy
A happy, healthy heart.
According to the World Health Organisation (or WHO) cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, and diet plays a huge role in your heart health. The great news is, plant-based foods contain zero cholesterol and are generally low in saturated fat. This makes them a heart-healthy choice, helping to keep your most essential muscle beating strong, and your arteries clear. In fact, a British study found that following a vegetarian diet reduced people’s chances of hospitalisation or death from heart disease by 32%.
We can lessen the risk of future pandemics.
Did you know that more than half of all global antibiotics are consumed by farmed animals? This is largely to protect them from the unhygienic conditions of factory farms, where stressed animals are crammed together in close proximity — a perfect breeding ground for disease, according to epidemiologists. By exposing diseases to antibiotics — and consuming the animals that potentially carry these diseases — we increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’. When we choose to eat plant-based, we not only lessen the risk of this type of transmission, but we can eliminate the need for high-density factory farms altogether.
Reduce your risk of many cancers.
Cigarettes and asbestos are listed by the World Cancer Research Fund as being ‘carcinogenic’ or having the potential to cause cancer — no surprise there. What you may find alarming, however, is that bacon, ham, and other processed meats are placed in the same category alongside them. Red meat is also listed as ‘probably carcinogenic’. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are high in protective antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals, which can help ward off diseases.
Credit: Heartful Table
Credit: Heartful Table
Nourish your mind, body and spirit.
Adding more plant-rich meals to your repertoire empowers you to fuel your body and mind with the richest nutrients that the earth has to offer. And with an endless range of vibrant flavours! It can be as simple as swapping out meat for beans in your favourite chilli, or as adventurous as discovering new ingredients entirely. Over at VegKit.com, you can find delicious and wholesome recipes (and nutrition tips) to suit every taste and experience level!
Plant-based foods are more sustainable for the planet.
Eating meat-free can reduce your eco-footprint by 50%. Choosing to eat plant-based meals is not only kind and healthy — it’s also one of the most powerful ways to protect our environment. Both now, and for future generations.
Animal agriculture is identified by the United Nations as one of the most significant contributors to serious environmental problems, including:
Fresh water scarcity
Loss of wildlife habitat
Ocean ‘dead zones’
Air, water and soil pollution
Eat your greens, cut your greenhouse emissions.
The processes associated with raising animals for food contributes almost as much to global warming as all of the world’s planes, trains, and automobiles combined. This is largely due to methane production — or gasses created by sheep and cows — which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Regardless of the technological advances we make in renewable energies, it is absolutely essential that we make a shift away from animal agriculture if we want to mitigate the effects of climate change. It can be quite empowering to consider that cutting out (or significantly cutting back) on animal products can halve your food’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Our appetite for meat and dairy is consuming the planet.
More than a third of the world’s habitable land is used to farm animals for food — and a lot of that land has been cleared at a high cost. Nearly 80% of former forestland in the Amazon, for example, is now used for cattle production. Habitat destruction is listed as one of the top two leading causes of extinction for wild plants and animals, with reports suggesting we have wiped out 60% of the earth’s wildlife in just the past 50 years. By maintaining an ever-increasing demand for meat and dairy, we’re eliminating our planet’s vibrant, richly diverse wildlife. We are effectively replacing natural ecosystems and wild animals with industrial-scale farms.
Tackle world hunger and save water.
While 820 million people around the world go hungry, one-third of the planet’s cereal harvest is fed to farmed animals, who require a huge caloric intake. This grain would be enough to feed 3 billion people. Our allocation of fresh water, our most precious resource, paints a similar picture… Sadly, one billion people on our planet struggle to access clean water. Yet one-third of our planet’s global fresh water supply is used in meat, egg, and dairy production. A planetary shift toward plant-rich diets, and away from animal-based food systems, could help provide food and clean water to those who need it most.
Eating plant-based is easy, affordable, and delicious.
With plant-based meat, dairy, and egg alternatives readily available at supermarkets, eating plant-based has never been easier — or more delicious! And there’s no shortage of mouthwatering recipes to sink your teeth into. For food inspiration, we’ve got hundreds of recipes ripe for the making over at VegKit.com.
You’re probably here because you’re a kind, caring, conscientious person. You have the power to help create a kinder world – for humans, animals, and the planet we all share. Every plant-based meal you eat is a building block for that kinder world.
For a handy guide to all things plant-based, you can order a free Veg Starter Kit right now, packed with tips, resources, and even a few recipes to help get you started!