Let’s turn over a new leaf in 2021

The New Year is just around the corner, and a New Year’s resolution is likely circling around your mind. Many of you might have considered being more compassionate to animals, eating healthy, and doing your bit for the environment as your resolution for next year. Some of you may wish to fulfil all these resolutions by adopting a plant-based diet. And these certainly are thoughts in the right direction as, now more than ever, turning to a plant-based diet is the need of the hour to ensure that the next year is better than 2020 not only for yourself but also for millions of animals, the environment and your own health. 

Here are Three Reasons to go Plant-based in 2021: 

1. Save animals 

Going plant-based is a surest way to prevent animal cruelty. As with all demand and supply based markets, the refusal to consume animal-based products is a decrease in demand which has a direct impact on the number of animal killings. Over 70 billion helpless animals are slaughtered by the meat industry for food each year. Here, you can see how many animals have been slaughtered in real time. These animals are sentient like us and feel emotions such as pain and fear. They are crammed into factory farms and are given hormones and antibiotics, mutilated and beaten. Therefore, going plant-based is the best way to be compassionate towards these animals, and protect them. 

2. Save environment 

Going plant-based can not only help save animals but also reduce excess greenhouse gas emissions, protect forests from being destroyed, and conserve water. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported that 33% of farmlands are used for growing cattle feed, accounting for 45% of greenhouse gas emission. Meat production causes the release of 221.6g of CO2 equivalents per gram of protein, and this can gravely impact the environment by exacerbating global warming and climate change. Finally, while the production of 1 kg of corn requires 500 liters of water, that of 1 kg of beef requires 13,000 liters of water.  A 2020 research study reported that substituting half the animal-based products with plant-based ones can reduce up to 224 metric tons of emissions per year within a decade – giving us another reason to go plant-based.

3. Save health

Consuming animal products over the long term can have ill effects on health. According to a study, consuming two servings of red meat per week can increase the risk of heart diseases and early mortality by 3%. Furthermore, meat and dairy contain saturated fats, and based on a report by the American Heart Association, consumption of these fats can increase levels of bad cholesterol and result in cardiac problems and stroke. Research studies have shown that high intake of red meat and poultry can significantly increase the risk of diabetes, whereas milk and dairy product consumption can increase the risk of developing breast and prostate cancers

In comparison, plant-based foods are a healthier and safer alternative due to their high nutritional and fiber content. A 2019 research study has shown that a higher intake of plant-based foods and lower intake of animal products decreased the risk of heart disease and mortality in adult humans. Therefore, plant-based foods are not only tasty and nutritious but also ethical and safe. 

Hope these reasons fuel your resolve to go plant-based and lead a compassionate, animal- and eco-friendly life in the coming year. So choose better, save animals, and reduce your carbon footprint from this year itself. Here’s wishing you all a very happy year end and a healthy and safe year ahead.

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