We are constantly hearing about climate change and it may seem hard as an individual to help change this global issue but what if I told you there is an inexpensive, easy way to help indeed?
Personal decisions on what type of food you eat daily have a major impact on the environment as 25 % of the climate change issues we’re facing today is a result of the food industry. This article will explore how individuals can bring about a change in this statistic by simply reevaluating what impacts the food they consume has on their personal and the environment’s health. In celebrating Women’s Month, this article will showcase inspiring women who have contributed to this change by simply changing their diets.
Installing more sustainable methods of generating electricity is one way of decreasing carbon emissions. Although this act can bring about a huge change in carbon emissions released, it can become expensive. If one does not have the financial resources to install solar panels, for example, there is an easier way to take if you want to decrease your carbon footprint. Simply cutting out that piece of meat on your dinner plate is another solution that can be initiated almost immediately.
Livestock contributes to 14% of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Livestock such as cows and sheep are ruminant animals, meaning that during digestion their stomachs produce the greenhouse gas methane. More heat is trapped in the atmosphere due to the excessive amounts of greenhouse gases released from the livestock industry, therefore if everyone decides to cut down on their meat intake, it will help eliminate a large percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Do our bodies need protein from meat?
Protein is composed of small building blocks called amino acids. There are 9 essential amino acids that we need to obtain from the foods we eat as our bodies are unable to produce it by themselves. Some meat does not contain all 9 of these amino acids however all plant-based foods do. Plant-based foods contain all 9 essential amino acids in varying amounts. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods will, therefore, ensure that your body obtains the necessary protein it requires.
Australian athlete, Morgan Mitchell is an inspiring woman who has shown the benefits of living plant-based on her athletic performances and essentially to the environment. When Morgan transitioned to a plant-based diet she immediately observed changes in her athletic performances. She broke some of her personal bests and she said that she had a faster recovery time and was able to maintain her weight better. Cyclist, Dotsie Bauch, and Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Soni also reaped these benefits related to recovery time. Rebecca Soni does not entirely live on plant-based foods but changing to plant-based milk already enabled her to recover faster.
If some of our strongest and fittest athletes have shown that one can indeed obtain all the nutrients our bodies need from plant-based foods, then making changes in our daily diets will benefit not only our health but the health of our planet as well. Now I’m not forcing you to never touch another piece of meat, I’m aiming to enlighten you on the impacts our daily dietary decisions have on the planet and how it contributes to climate change.