The goal of the UN Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris is to address the most pressing issues facing our planet’s environment and work to make global policy-level change to mitigate the worst possible impacts of climate change. While there are many topics at the table ranging from fossil fuel emissions to handling droughts and food shortages … there is one thing that isn’t being talked about that MIGHT just be the singular thing that can save us from the brink of total destruction.
The role our food choices play in climate change.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization accredits 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions to the animal agriculture industry. That’s more than the entire transportation sector. But that’s not where it ends.
This destructive industry currently occupies over half of the world’s arable land resources and uses the majority of our freshwater store. Additionally, this system causes rampant air and water pollution, land degradation, deforestation and is pushing countless species to the brink of extinction. And yet, one in eight people still suffer from food scarcity.
As Nil Zacharias, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet says, “The real war against climate change is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make.”
So while this topic might not be the center of discussion at COP21, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that we all can’t take action against. In fact, you can start making a difference with your next meal! By simply leaving meat off your plate, you can HALVE your carbon footprint – if everyone in the world made an effort to even eat less meat and dairy, it would make an enormous difference.
“Years from now, when we tell the inspiring story of how our broken food system was transformed into a more equitable and sustainable one, will you be on the right or wrong side of history?” asks Zacharias; a question that is more important than ever for the world’s leaders to consider, and yet, many have yet to recognize.
Are you tired of waiting for legislation and ready to make a change to save the future right now? Join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement, here and find out how our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future.
Click on the graphic below for more information
As the largest independent green site on the Internet with the largest vegan recipe database, One Green Planet is the leading voice in the sustainable food space. Using this authority, the #EatForThePlanet campaign aims to inspire the public to take control of the damage being caused by animal agriculture, and show them how the fork can be an incredibly effective tool in the fight against climate change.
In the past 40 years, we’ve lost 52 percent of wildlife from the face of the planet; there is currently more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been in the past 800,000 years and our oceans are riddled with over 400 massive dead zones, completely devoid of life due to our pollution. While it may be difficult to fathom the fact that humankind has been responsible for this enormous amount of damage, it is the reality. But what is possibly even more challenging for people to understand is that something as simple as the food choices we make every day can be intrinsically tied to this destruction. Especially, our appetite for meat, dairy and eggs.
*The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent.
These statistics illustrate the devastating use of land resources, freshwater supplies and sheer volume of greenhouse gases produced by the livestock industry, and yet, 850 million people across the world still suffer from lack of food. Not to mention, animal agriculture is also the leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss which has pushed countless endangered species on to the brink of extinction. As our population grows to nine billion by 2050, these percentages are set to grow exponentially, pushing our planet’s finite resources to their limit.
“Since we launched One Green Planet back in 2012, we have been unapologetically committed to highlighting how the real war against climate change is being fought on our plates,” said One Green Planet co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Nil Zacharias. “If we want to have any hope for a sustainable food system that can feed our growing population, business as usual is just not going to cut it any longer. It’s time for us to recognize that animal agriculture is the leading cause of the climate crisis and exercise our power to be a part of the solution with every food choice we make.”
If every person in the U.S. were to choose more plant-based foods, we could cut our carbon footprint in half, save around 200,000 gallonsof water each redirect enough grain from the livestock system to feed roughly 2 billion people. We have the potential to make an enormous impact.
#EatForThePlanet is more than just a social media campaign, it’s a movement with the simple goal of changing the way we all think about our food choices.
No matter how you look at it, the animal agriculture industry is a losing bet for the environment, animals, and people. It is time that we stop looking for ways to make this archaic industry “less inhumane,” “less environmentally destructive,” and “less unhealthy,” and choose an option that is not “less bad” but undeniably better: plant-based. You can choose to do this once a day or for the rest of your life, the decision is up to you! So Green Monsters, are you ready to take your passion for animals, the environment, and just plain amazing food, and change the world? Yup, we thought so.
Take the first step by trying any one of the following:
1. Try eating meatless one day a week
2. Make one meal a day all plant-based
3. Recreate your favorite foods without meat and dairy
Eating for the planet has never been easier … or more delicious. One Green Planet just happens to be home to the largest vegan recipe database on the web – and trust us, once you dive in, you’ll probably ask yourself why you never considered eating plant-based before. Or, if you’re a seasoned plant-based eater, you are sure to find hundreds of fresh recipes to add a little more excitement to your life. Click here to access the 5,000+ out of this world recipes. Worried about getting all your nutrients on a plant-based diet? Check out a Green Monster’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.
Join the fun with other Green Monsters on social media…
1. Choose a plant-based/vegan meal (Yes, vegan donuts count as a meal!).
3. Add #EatForThePlanet and @OneGreenPlanet in your update.
Let’s show the world how eating vegan/plant-based has never been easier or more delicious. We want to see your new favorite plant-based recipes, your go-to vegan brunch selections, and all the amazing vegan donut varieties you can possibly find! (Yes, eating donuts helps the environment.) We will feature all your awesome photos in the gallery below. Make sure you add @OneGreenPlanet and use #EatForThePlanet when you upload and we will share the best, most creative and yummy-looking posts across our social media platforms.
Be a Green Monster! Act for the environment with your forks and let’s get the world to #EatForThePlanet.
Want to reach One Green Planet’s 6M+ strong monthly reader base? We want our Green Monsters to know all about the amazing brands out there that create and/or support sustainable food (i.e. vegan food). Today, we are offering vegan, natural, eco-friendly brands, whether big or small (including ones that have worked with us and those that have not) an opportunity to participate in this campaign and feature your logo/product in the gallery.
1. Choose a photo of plant-based/vegan meal or of your product/logo (if it is plant-based/vegan)
2. Upload to Instagram or Twitter.
3. Add #EatForThePlanet and @OneGreenPlanet in your update.
When you “Eat for the Planet,” you make the conscious choice to reduce the impact you are having on the world around you. You have a choice at every meal you eat to opt for a cheeseburger or you can make the decision to grab an equally (if not more so) tantalizingUltimate Veggie Burger. The more plant-based choices you make, the larger your positive impact. You might not become the perfect “vegan” overnight, but it is more important that you simply start to include your meal choices in all the other amazing things you do to minimize your impact on the world. You already recycle, ride your bike to work and carry a reusable grocery bag – it’s time to start eating for the planet.
To learn more about the relationship between animal agriculture and environmental destruction, check out these resources:
The Meat Industry and the Environment:
- How Cutting Down on Meat Can Benefit the Environment
- Land, Water and Energy Usage of Meat Eaters Versus Plant-Based
- Facts About Meat and the Environment
- Beef Production and Deforestation in the Amazon
- Livestock Feed and Deforestation in South America
- How Livestock Production Damage U.S. Public Lands
- How Growing Soy to Feed Livestock Drives Deforestation
- Eating Meat and Your Water Footprint
- How Much Water Does the Dairy Industry Use?
- Animal Agriculture’s Role in the California Drought
- Greenhouse Gases and Your Diet
- Fossil Fuels Needed to Produce Meat
- How Factory Farms Contribute to Environmental Destruction
- How Livestock Threaten Wildlife in the U.S.
- How Cutting Out Seafood Can Protect Marine Ecosystems
- Biodiversity Loss Driven by Livestock
- Beef Production and Species Loss in South America
Be a Green Monster! Join us and let’s get the world to #EatForThePlanet.
Change begins one meal at a time!