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Change Your Diet, Change Your World—AARP Suggests Eating Less Meat

Posted by at 8:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)


Change Your Diet, Change Your World

A recent edition of AARP Bulletin Today featured some great tips for going green. One of their suggestions—which would collectively reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 1.9 million tons—is to reduce meat consumption by 25 percent. I agree with the idea behind this suggestion, but I have to ask: Why stop there? Why not save almost 8 million tons by going vegetarian instead?

Global warming has been called humankind’s “greatest challenge” and the world’s gravest environmental threat. But the solutions are within our grasp. Science overwhelmingly shows that one of the most effective ways to fight global warming is by going vegetarian. Consider the following:

  • A 2006 United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.
  • The University of Chicago reports that going vegan is 50 percent more effective in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions than switching to a hybrid car.
  • Raising animals for meat, eggs, or milk is one of the world’s leading emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2). But global warming is caused by more than just CO2. Animal agriculture is the leading source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, which—combined with carbon dioxide—cause the vast majority of global warming.
  • Eating 1lb. of meat is responsible for the same amount of greenhouse-gas emissions as driving an SUV 40 miles.

By eliminating meat, eggs, and dairy products from our diets, we can fight the global warming crisis and leave a green legacy for those who follow us.

Removing meat and other animal products from our diets is also the best way to take care of ourselves. Leading health experts agree that going vegan (pure vegetarian) is the single-best thing that we can do for ourselves and family members. A healthy vegetarian diet supports a lifetime of good health and provides protection against numerous diseases, including our country’s three biggest killers: heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Consider the following:

  • Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate that meat-eaters have.
  • Meat-eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than people following a vegan diet.
  • Scientists have found that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than meat-eaters do, so vegetarians are less susceptible to everyday illnesses, like the flu.

AARP is right: We have the power to fight global warming, so why not do the one thing that can have the biggest impact and stop eating animal products altogether? Sir Paul McCartney says it best: “I think the biggest change anyone could make in their own lifestyle would be to become vegetarian.”

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10 Comments

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    Karen says...

    September 3rd, 2008, 7:24 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I feel so powerless sometimes when it comes to climate change, but I know that I am helping every day by not eating meat.

    Denise says...

    September 3rd, 2008, 11:21 am

    This decade is like the 1970s all over again. it’s funny how the problems and solutions are still the same. Maybe this time people will actually do the right thing. Fingers crossed.

    Claudine Erlandson says...

    September 4th, 2008, 5:17 pm

    Excellent article and advice. As Bob Dylan used to sing “Times’ they are changing”. After reading this I hope many people will become vegan for the future of our planet and for their own health. As a vegan grandmother I speak out when I can, lead by exemple; I can die in peace knowing I have done my share for “a green legacy”.

    Laura says...

    September 8th, 2008, 2:04 pm

    Great post! Makes me feel great about being vegan, doing my part for the environment as well as for the animals!

    Tove PisaRelle Reese says...

    September 8th, 2008, 7:37 pm

    Not only do I feel better knowing that I’m doing my part for the environment and animals, but I know I’ll never have heart disease because I just lowered my own cholesterol by a whopping 60 points to 157! It occurred over a period of two years and without the use of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs that have side effects! I was told my whole life that my high cholesterol was heriditary—I know differently now! Prescription: Eat healthy vegan, exercise, and keep your good fats to a minimum!

    Michele says...

    September 10th, 2008, 12:57 pm

    I love the article.It was very informative.I never thought that going green as well as being a vegatarian can both produce the same wonderful results for our planet! Thanks again

    liliana says...

    September 12th, 2008, 9:51 am

    the first thing that I am vegan is because animal cruelty, the second the hunger in the world and the third because the planet

    Barbara says...

    September 16th, 2008, 7:20 am

    being vegetarian is help animals and help the earth :D

    Danielle says...

    September 20th, 2008, 1:09 am

    To be vegan is being an intelligent person, a compassionate person, an awesome person!!!:~D
    I am so happy and proud to be vegan!!! I am helping and saving animals!!! Also, I am helping the planet!!! Why can’t it be a law for people to be vegan?!?!!!

    Ann says...

    November 29th, 2010, 7:40 pm

    What a wonderful post!
    Health, animal welfare, the planet – what reason is there NOT to go vegetarian?

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