An Environmentally Conscious Diet

The time has come to consider solutions to care for our environment. Every bit of effort is valuable, and adopting a plant-based diet is just one way to make an impact.
by on Monday, November 11, 2019

The Personal & The Planetary

How many grains of sand does it take to form a heap? That is, how many incremental shifts does it take to bring about major change?

These questions about our collective relationship to the planet can sound like tired clichés. But with carbon emissions continuing to rise dramatically, we should all be asking them.

The time has come to consider solutions to care for our environment. Every bit of effort is valuable, and adopting a plant-based diet is just one way to make an impact. Change doesn’t have to happen overnight.

It starts with one good decision, and then another, until enough discrete choices turn into a consistent habit.

In the last few years, our planet has seen increased and intensified displays of extreme climate events. We have witnessed major heat waves in Russia, Canada, and the Middle East, typhoons in China, wildfires in the United States and Greece, abnormal rains in Japan, multiple consecutive hurricanes throughout the Caribbean, and the extinction of animal species—to name just a few.

It all comes back to carbon emissions, which are on the rise again after a short-lived plateau. While clean energy initiatives steadily expand, our dependence on fossil fuels is so great that it offsets the gains made by renewable energy.

The most alarming fact is that most of the damage has occurred within the last 30 years. Industrial food production—especially animal agriculture—is responsible for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, both major drivers of climate change.

Our planet needs all the help it can get, but gradual change is still change. Globally speaking, it’s pretty clear that the most significant part of the fight must happen at the levels of policy and infrastructure, but this doesn’t mean that we’re powerless as individuals. 

Improvements still need to happen in every sector of the economy, as carbon emissions represent an existential threat that demands action on many fronts. We are talking about our home at the end of the day—the planet that spawned our species, the place where our children, grandchildren, and future generations will be born. If we want to leave them a livable planet, change must begin now—not in an abstract, distant future.

We are presently going on a carbon emission spree, while running on an increasingly tight budget. The withdrawal symptoms we experience as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels will be chaotic but necessary

So, the next time someone offers you a burger, add your grain of sand to the heap and consider a plant-based option instead.


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