I became inspired after reading Alicia Silverstone’s book, “The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Losing Weight, Feeling Great and Saving the Planet”. I have been a vegetarian and vegan for 3 years. After I changed my dietary habits, I noticed that I had more energy, clearer skin (a problem which has been plaguing me since my teens), and an easier time maintaining weight loss.
The concept of being a vegan seemed completely logical to me. There are remarkable differences between humans and carnivores: we can’t eat raw meat, chase after our prey, or rip through flesh with our teeth and claws. Our body structure is similar to that of vegetarian animals, like the gorilla. Although it seemed impossible to give up cheese, once I stopped and thought about what dairy products really are (milk that’s meant to fatten a calf to a 600-1000 lb adult cow), I understood why it was so difficult to maintain my ideal weight.
Before reading “The Kind Diet”, I never thought about how my diet was impacting the earth. Everyone knows that eating fruits and vegetables are vital to health and well being, but did you ever think about what your eating habits are doing for our planet? It takes more natural resources to raise and slaughter animals than to grow grains, vegetables and fruits. Farms that mass produce meats use and abuse acres of land for the animals to graze. Excessive grains (that could be used to feed humans) and extra hormones are used to help fatten the animals and stimulate milk production. Between 1000-2000 gallons of water is required to create 1 lb of beef, while it only takes 100-250 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of corn. Just cutting down on weekly meat consumption will help reduce the need, and therefore waste, that is associated with raising and slaughtering animals. Not to mention that a vegetarian diet is associated with weight control, reduced risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and some cancers.
If you already eat a vegetarian diet, there is another step you can take to help the environment. Do you buy exotic fruits? The exotic fruits were not grown locally (or near by), and therefore require extra fuel to transport them to grocery stores. People are always looking for ways to help the environment. By buying both seasonal and locally grown fruits and vegetables, you will improve your health and appearance while reducing waste and excessive fuel use, all while supporting your local economy. Making small changes will help to create a healthier and greener world for the next generation.