Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
By Boris Salinas
Today’s Standard Western diet consists of primarily animal ingredients such as dairy and meat. The demand for these products is extremely high and in order to fulfill this demand, we raise an average of 70 billion animals each year. This demand causes ethical, environmental, and health issues.
Animal agriculture creates a lot of Greenhouse gases which causes global warming. These emissions cause the world’s ocean to become acidic overtime. Deforestation is also caused by this demand, since land is necessary for cattle grazing and animal feed crops. The manure produced by these animals is also a great cause of pollution. Healthwise, since animals are raised so close together bacteria and germs find it very easy to multiply, animals are fed antibiotics to combat these bacteria and germs. We then proceed to consume this meat and gain an antibiotic resistance over time. Food borne illnesses are also a major issue, on average, 3 million people will get food poisoning each year.
Many people are choosing to replace animal produce with plant-based products. Companies such as JUST, Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods are making different products in order to help deal with these issues. In the year 2011, scientists that work at Impossible Foods discovered the molecule behind the taste of meat. Along with this discovery it was discovered that the same molecule is essential for life, this molecule is Heme. The Heme in your blood takes oxygen from your lungs and distributes it in the body. Whenever you crave meat, in reality you crave Heme. Heme is extremely abundant in the muscle tissues of animals.
These plant-based foods are also a lot less damaging to the environment. Whenever a plant-based burger is made, 99% less water is used, 90% less greenhouse gas emissions are released, 93% less damage happens to the earth, and 92% less water contamination occurs. With all the benefits that there is to consuming more plant-based foods, it's easy to say that not only are they healthier, but also safer. Overtime as the demand for food rises, we will be facing these same issues but to a higher scale. If we as a species who live on Earth don’t do something about the earth’s degradation, we will soon be left without a home.
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