Everyone notices that times are changing. Steakhouses are offering vegan options, airport menus are offering coleslaw, stores are devoting more shelf space to plant-based foods, and more vegan establishments are popping up. Doctors are seeing miraculous improvements in the health of patients who switch to a vegan diet – both those who dive headlong into veganism and those who are just trying to touch a plant-based lifestyle. The issue of health drives many to switch to a plant-based diet, but people are also motivated by helping the planet and animals.
Can one person really help save our precious planet by saying no to animal food? Analysis of statistics shows that the answer is yes.
Positive effects of one day of vegetarianism
It’s impossible to accurately estimate the health and environmental impact of one day of veganism, but American best-selling vegan author Katie Freston has tried to describe what would happen if every US citizen followed a vegan diet for 24 hours.
So, what would happen if the population of an entire country became vegetarian for one day? 100 billion gallons of water would be saved, enough to supply every home in New England for nearly four months; 1,5 billion pounds of crops that would otherwise be used for livestock – enough to feed the state of New Mexico for a year; 70 million gallons of gas – enough to fill all the cars in Canada and Mexico; 3 million acres, more than twice the size of Delaware; 33 tons of antibiotics; 4,5 million tons of animal excrement, which would reduce emissions of ammonia, a major air pollutant, by almost 7 tons.
And assuming the population became vegan instead of vegetarian, the impact would be even more pronounced!
Another way to evaluate the impact of a vegan diet is to use. A month later, a person who switched from a meat diet to a plant-based diet would have saved 33 animals from death; save 33 gallons of water that would otherwise be used to make animal products; save 000 square feet of forest from destruction; would cut CO900 emissions by 2 pounds; save 600 pounds of grain used in the meat industry to feed animals to feed starving people around the world.
All of these numbers tell us that adopting a vegan diet for just one day can indeed make a significant impact.
Where to start?
Movements such as Meat-Free Monday, which promote the elimination of animal products for one day a week, have become quite common. The campaign was launched in 2003 in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and now has 44 member states.
The decision to cut out eggs, dairy, and all meats at least one day a week is a step towards better health, greater understanding of the suffering of farm animals, and relief for a world burdened with feeding more than 7 billion people.
If going vegan for just one day is already such an overwhelming impact, just imagine the benefits to the planet and your health that a permanent vegan lifestyle can bring!
While there is no way to know the exact impact that one person’s lifestyle has on the environment, vegans can take pride in the number of animals, forests and waters they are saving from death and destruction.
So let’s take a step towards a kinder and cleaner world together!