Sunday, April 22, 2018
How to Make Earth Day Every Day
Happy Earth Day! Though this is the one day a year where we acknowledge our commitment to making the earth a better place and preserving its beauty, wouldn't it be great if you could make Earth Day every day? Well, there is one simple lifestyle shift you can make that will help the Earth more than anything else you can do, and that is going vegan or adopting a more plant-based lifestyle. Now, before you click away from this article, I want you to seriously consider the positive impact you could make by going vegan - for example, did you know that going vegan has been shown to cut your carbon footprint in half?! And did you know that even if you combined all the greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trains, planes, etc. in the entire world that animal agriculture still produces more pollution (per this study)?! Or that on average a vegan person saves roughly 1,100 gallons of water every day? The water needed to produce a just a quarter pound of beef is 660 gallons of water and 600 gallons of water to produce a single gallon of cow’s milk.
I could go on an on, but you get the idea. Before I was vegan, I wasn't aware of the negative impact animal agriculture was having on the environment. I was a passionate kid and young adult who loved animals and cared deeply about the environment and thought I was being mindful of what I could do to help the earth. However, I don't remember every hearing about the animal industry and how it is responsible for more than 51% of all greenhouse gas pollution, how it is poisoning the earth and watersheds, not to mention how it mistreats the animals. The good news is that I eventually did learn about all this and as a result I went vegan! The other good news is that you too can go vegan, and it is easier than ever!
If you are curious about going vegan, I recommend watching a few vegan documentaries, many of which are available on Amazon and Netflix. There are many different perspectives depending on what documentary you watch, some focusing on the health benefits of veganism, others on the environmental impact, stories about people's personal connection to animals, to corporate greed and profit driving disease and pollution. I recommend checking out a variety of these documentaries, like Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Vegucated, Peaceable Kingdom (you can watch it for free HERE), Food Inc., Vegan: Everyday Stories (watch it for free on YouTube), and Earthlings (warning - this contains graphic content and I bawled the first time I watched it - grab a box of tissues and watch it for free on YouTube).
If you want to try some vegan meals, there are tons of vegan recipes available online, as well as numerous vegan cookbooks (I highly recommend Bake and Destroy, Veganomicon, Oh She Glows, Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen, and there are sooooo many more!). You can also check out vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants by visiting Yelp or Happy Cow and searching for vegan restaurants in your area. To get more inspiration, follow vegan accounts on Instagram, check out vegan YouTube channels, and meet some vegans by joining a vegan Facebook group or Meetup group. It is so much easier to go and stay vegan when you surround yourself with fellow vegans! You can also check out guides on how to go vegan - I like the one from Vegan.com as well as PETA's helpful guide that includes vegan products that you can find at grocery stores, meal plans, and how to eat vegan at restaurants or on the road.
And, as always, I am always here should you have any questions or need support. I went vegan over 10 years ago now and every year there are more and more resources, more food choices, and more people going vegan! It's neat to see how veganism has rapidly expanded in 10 years, and I can't wait to see how many more people go vegan in the coming years. I truly believe the future is vegan, and who wouldn't want to be a part of improving the condition of the planet, the health of its inhabitants, and choosing compassion for animals by not consuming them?
For those that are already vegan or have tried a plant-based lifestyle, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being part of the the future and making every day Earth Day with your positive choices! For those that aren't, it is never to late to go vegan and make a positive impact.
For more tips on making Earth Day every day, check out my Earth Day articles from 2017, 2015, and 2013!
Stay spooky and go vegan!