6 Powerful Environmental Reasons to Go Vegan on Earth Day

“The earth is what we all have in common.”

– Wendell Berry

Our planet Earth is indeed fascinating and beautiful, isn’t it? Most of us love to immerse ourselves in nature and visit exotic places. We work towards and dream about living close to a bubbling brook, a purple mountain, or by beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams.

We love nature, and we appreciate how it nourishes us. This love ignites our desire to participate in preserving our only planet, Earth.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day was established in 1970 and is commemorated on Apr 22nd of every year as a day of recognition of our planet’s environmental health. Earth Day was established to help preserve Earth, so we could continue to enjoy her.

Since then, more than 1 billion individuals are mobilized for climate and environmental action every Earth Day. But today, we need everyone on board to participate.  

Due to human consumption and activity, urgent policy on climate change is needed. I am not going to lie or sugarcoat it, the situation is dire. Earth is dying as I write this article. All kinds of species are becoming extinct at unnerving rates; sea life is being eradicated in record numbers, rich rain forests with an abundance of healing plants are being deforested, and the oceans are dying. On this Earth Day, let’s explore how living a vegan lifestyle can dramatically help us save our only home, Earth.

What is Veganism?

Photo Credit: Daniela Relovborrce, Unsplash

Contrary to what most people think, veganism is a lifestyle, not a diet. It is the ideology against cruelty and exploitation of animals. It excludes, as much as is possible, the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, testing, and products. The plant-based diet is the result of living a vegan lifestyle.

People adopt plant-based diets for health reasons, but vegans take it a step further and omit eating animals and their byproducts for ethical reasons. Everyone has a personal journey and comes to adopt veganism differently. Some become vegans for their health, and others arrive at this wonderful lifestyle for ethical reasons. But, adopting the vegan lifestyle for environmental reasons is now urgent.

6 Reasons to Go Vegan on This Earth Day (And Save Ourselves)

Going vegan reduces factory farming which is a large contributor to climate change

Photo by Mark Stebnicki from Pexels

Did you know animal farming is one of the highest contributors to climate change in the world? The 1.5 billion cattle in the world emit 80 million metric tons of methane per year, which is a cause of global warming. These are alarming numbers.

Livestock farming contributes directly and indirectly to deforestation, water and air pollution, greenhouse gases, global warming, soil erosion, and desertification. Our planet cannot sustain more damage.

Also, studies show industrial farms in the U.S. alone produce 1.37 tons of manure each year. Imagine that for a moment. That is twenty times more fecal waste than what is produced by the entire population of the United States!  

The solution is to reduce or eliminate your meat consumption. By not buying meat, you will send a clear message to the meat industry that their practices are not sustainable and damage our planet’s resources. Adopt a plant-based diet or go vegan to save our planet.

Going vegan helps limit water and air pollution

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Factory farming plays a major role in water and air pollution.

Wastewater containing fecal and urine from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) contaminates local waterways or streams. This waste run-off reaches nearby neighborhoods causing disease to humans. All of this impacts water used for drinking, cooking, and showering.

In addition, nitrates and pesticides used on crops grown to feed livestock flow into our rivers and streams and destroy the health of microenvironments, create algal growth, and destroy our planet’s ecosystems.

As mentioned earlier, livestock emits methane gases as well, which contaminate air quality and have been shown to contribute to global warming.

None of this makes sense, and we need to make immediate changes. Adopting a plant-based diet is the best solution to limit water and air pollution.   

Going vegan saves water

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Water is our most precious resource, but did you know animal agriculture accounts for 70 percent of water withdrawals worldwide?

According to some experts, if our consumption habits are not altered, it is estimated by 2040 the entire planet will have severe water shortages.  

That is the entire planet by 2040. That is nineteen years from today.

Let me explain why it is urgent to curb our water use.

It takes only 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of grain. It takes 660 gallons of water to produce 6 oz. of steak. Is it worth it to eat that steak if it results in water shortages worldwide? I don’t believe so.

Compare what it takes to produce 6 oz. of beef to how much water American’s use to shower. The average time it takes a person to shower is eight minutes, and the amount of water used is about 16 gallons. That is 16 gallons compared to 660 gallons for less than half a pound of meat. Clearly, this is unsustainable.

The water needed to produce one burger is even higher.

To reduce your water usage so we don’t run out of freshwater, go plant-based or vegan. There are lots of plant-based meat options these days. Try a burger like Beyond Burger instead of an animal-based one. Plant-based burgers taste just like meat, are delicious, nutritious, and are more sustainable.

Going vegan saves energy

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As you might have guessed from the above information thus far, a vegan diet saves energy.

Livestock management and production of feed breeding require high amounts of energy consumption. Consider the electricity, farm operating costs, and production and spread of fertilizers that are used for the 77 billion land animals slaughtered and made into meat each year worldwide. It is estimated that animal-based protein requires eight times more fossil fuel energy than the creation of plant-based protein.

Producing plant products is much more efficient, more sustainable, and healthier for our planet.

Going vegan reduces energy consumption. Go vegan.

Going vegan helps feed the world and saves the land

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Did you know more than half of the grain grown in the United States is used for producing meat and fed to livestock? Forty percent of the world’s grain is also fed to livestock rather than being consumed by humans. If that grain were fed directly to people, no one on the planet would go hungry. We would have enough food to feed everyone. I repeat: if the grain fed to cattle today were fed to people instead, famine would not exist.

Granted, I understand politics is involved in whether people are fed or not, but you cannot argue that our current system is unsustainable. We have a duty as compassionate and kind people to help feed the hungry people in our world.

In addition, twenty vegans can live off the same amount of land required by one meat consumer. The amount of land used for livestock, as mentioned earlier, could be used to house the people of the world. Also, land is precious and limited. If we grew plants on much of the land that is used for livestock, we would replenish our nutrient-depleted soil.

Go plant-based or vegan. It will help put the world in a position to better distribute food to all people.

Going vegan saves our oceans (without them, we die)

Photo Credit: Richard Segal, Pexels

Without living oceans, humans will die.

Did you know the ocean provides 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe? It also regulates our climate and allows us to have fresh water to drink and use. Earth’s global water distribution system transports water from land to sea, to the atmosphere, and back to the land again. The ocean and its related systems are vital parts of our survival as well as the survival of all other living beings on the planet.

According to Sea Shepherd, “Every year, 65 billion animals are slaughtered to feed humans and some 40 percent of all the fish caught are converted to fishmeal to feed pigs, chickens, domestic salmon, fur-bearing animals, and cat food.” Removing fish from the oceans is causing an imbalance of biodiversity and a lack of food for marine life. Species are also going extinct at high rates.

The movie Seaspiracy has become popular in recent months. Before I watched it, I was convinced I already understood how the oceans are being destroyed, that marine life is being killed in horrific numbers, and our oceans are dying. I was shocked to discover that overfishing is killing all other sea life in addition to fish, and it is the number one contributor to the death of the oceans. Plastic waste doesn’t even come close.

I was stunned to find out that if we do not stop the removal of sea creatures from our oceans, it is predicted that the oceans will die by 2048. As of this day, April 22, 2021, that is in only 27 years!

Seaspiracy is on Netflix. I highly recommend it.

To save the oceans, it is imperative to refrain from eating seafood. Go vegan for the oceans. Good Catch Foods offers plant-based options that taste just like fish or shrimp.  

Summary

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske, Pexels

The urgency to change our way of life cannot be overstated. Without immediate collective and individual action, we will not survive as a species. What can you do? Adopt a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle.  After all, Earth is our only home. She is what we all have in common. Let’s work together to save her.

Veganism is the best way to reduce your environmental impact. Going vegan will help save our land, water, air, oceans, and ourselves. It will substantially reduce our carbon footprint and the destruction of our species, other species,’ and our only planet.

Credit: Artist Lexi Finnegan, follow on Instagram @artsbylexi

Ready to participate in saving Earth? Take a step today and start your vegan journey. Start with just one meal per day. Download the VeGuide, a step-by-step plan on how to go vegan, from The Vegan Society. You will be surprised how delicious plant-based is. Even a full American breakfast made from plants can be enjoyed.

Hate to cook? Make it easy and purchase fully-prepared, nutritious, plant-based meals. Check out Veestro.  

Need a vegan content writer for your vegan business or nonprofit? Learn more.


Sources:

A Greener World.org

Factory Farms Put Climate at Risk Experts Say in Urging Health Officials to Speak Out

UC Davis: Making Cattle More Sustainable

Is the Livestock Industry Destroying the Planet

How Meat Contributes to Global Warming

The World Counts

Home Water Works

Sea Shepherd, If the Oceans Die, We All Die

How Does a Vegetarian Conserve Overall Energy in Trophic Levels

Published by

Vilma Reynoso

Vilma Reynoso, aka Vilms, is a freelance writer, copywriter, lifestyle blogger, gardening aficionado, and whole-food enthusiast who writes about the human experience, self-growth, living creatively, great books, veganism, and the plant-based diet. She is the author of Vegan Green Smoothies by Vilms. Her passion is to inspire others to live their best lives for a kinder, more compassionate world. To learn more about Vilma, visit her websites: www.vilmareynoso.com and www.veganspiritworldwide.com.

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