I recently watched the documentary Cowspiracy. If you haven't seen or aren't familiar with it, Cowspiracy delves in to the reasons why major environmental groups don't have animal agriculture as their top reason behind global climate change. why groups like Oceana and Greenpeace tout switching faucets, biking to work and recycling but not moving towards a plant-based diet.
Throughout the documentary, there are plenty of numbers thrown around about the effects of animal agriculture on the planet. Billions of gallons of water, staggering amounts of methane gas, animal waste being diverted to oceans (thus killing fish and other ocean life). The list goes on and on. Documentaries of this sort are always incendiary and I like to take them all with a grain of salt but this one has really stuck with me for some reason. Brad and I watched it together and I kept hopping on different sites as thy were brought up to validate some claims that were made. Overall, it was pretty accurate in all of the totally outrageous-sounding claims about the effects of animal agriculture.
A few months ago, when we moved back to California, I made the switch to a plant-based diet. I'm not perfect, and I still have a lot to learn about both product ingredients and my own willpower (there are approximately 25 ice cream sandwiches in my freezer leftover from a 4th of July party and I'd be lying if I didn't eat 3 yesterday), but what I learned from Cowspiracy is that if just one person switches to a plant-based diet, over ONE BILLION gallons of water will be saved. In a place like California where, (though technically we're no longer in a drought) water is sacred and scarce it's incredibly empowering to know that my decision to eschew animal products is saving an astonishing amount of that precious resource.
I don't share this to scare anyone or to shame or to whatever negative thing. I care about this one planet we call home and I share my own story (and struggle) with how to respect this earth so that if you're on a similar journey you know we're in this together. No matter how many cheeseburgers your family eats (and mine eats their fair share!). So if you are curious about making some adjustments to your diet and animal product consumption but aren't willing to go all in I wanted to share a few ways you can make small changes towards a smaller footprint.
3 WAYS TO EASE IN TO PLANT-BASED EATING
1. Go plant-based for one meal each day. Go grab a copy of One Part Plant, read the blog and do it. Just one meal each day will not only be amazing for the environment, but you'll learn how to cook delicious, nutritious plant-based meals that will maybe spill over in to other meals throughout your day!
2. Cut beef out of your diet. Switch to turkey burgers, etc. If you wanna go a little further, cut out all cow products (milk, ice cream, yogurt). It's not easy, but cows have a HUGE negative effect on the environment. And your body will thank you for consuming less red meat and high-fat animal products. You can reduce your risk of obesity and heart disease in the process!
3. Be a little more conscious about the things you eat. Think to yourself at the grocery "where did this come from?" before mindlessly tossing a pack of sausage in to your cart. We've been conditioned in society to think of hot dogs and yogurt and cheese and simply food. But when we flip the switch and think of them as pigs and cow breastmilk (gross, right?) it can really help change our eating habits.
Do you follow a plant-based diet? I'd love to hear your reasons why! Often it's a combination of one or more issues or a disease that's aided by eating less animal products. Whatever it is, please share! I'm a big believer in strength in numbers. Maybe there's someone reading this who's considered it but not ready to take the plunge because of lack of community.