By Heather Moore
This Earth Day, do your part to protect the planet and help your fellow Earthlings: go vegan. An eye-opening new study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that if all Americans were to go vegan, there would be enough food to feed the 327 million people currently living in the U.S. — plus 350 million more.
Researchers analyzed the land that’s currently being used to raise cattle, pigs and chickens and found that if it were instead used to cultivate plant foods that provide an equivalent amount of calories, protein and other nutrients, the amount of available food would increase by a whopping 120 percent.
That alone is reason enough for everyone to stop eating bacon cheeseburgers and barbecued chicken wings, but the study also suggests that it would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and healthcare costs.
If you think about these findings — and everything else that we’ve learned about animal agriculture and the environment since last Earth Day — you’ll understand why going vegan is the only sensible choice if you care about the environment, animals and other humans.
Seriously, think about it. The average American is expected to eat a whopping 222 pounds of meat this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is almost 10 ounces of meat per day, enough to surpass a record set in 2004.
But that’s one record we don’t want to break! It would mean even more suffering for animals, higher rates of disease among humans, more wasted resources, and steadily rising sea levels and temperatures.
We need to change our eating habits and we need to change them now!
Conventional Earth Day activities — biking to work, picking up litter, taking shorter showers, recycling and using cloth bags instead of plastic — aren’t enough to save the environment.
Going vegan will have a more powerful impact, much more so than vigilantly turning off the lights or driving a hybrid vehicle. Research shows that vegans’ carbon footprint is about two-and-a-half times less than that of heavy meat-eaters.
Fortunately, many people are making an effort to eat more vegan foods. A Nielsen report suggests that nearly 40 percent of Americans and 43 percent of Canadians are “actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets” and indicates that 23 percent of consumers want to see more plant proteins on store shelves.
Six percent of Americans now identify as vegan — an increase of 600 percent in just three years. That’s a good start.
Hopefully, that figure will keep growing. Last month, Greenpeace, which typically shies away from urging people to eat less meat — likely in fear of losing supporters— released a report insisting that global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 in order to avoid seeing even more harmful effects of climate change and to save millions of human lives.
A 2017 report on the benefits of eating plant-based foods estimated that there would be about 8 million fewer human deaths each year if everyone were to go vegan by 2050.
Food-related carbon emissions would drop by approximately 60 percent.
And transforming pastures into native habitats and forests might improve biodiversity and perhaps even bring back buffaloes, wolves and other animals who were pushed out or killed so that farmers could raise cattle for food.
We can accomplish all these things just by switching to tasty new foods. Don’t wait for the next Earth Day: Go vegan now. Choose veggie burgers over hamburgers, curried chickpeas over chicken flesh and almond milk over cow’s milk. Do it on April 22 and every day of the year!
MUST-TRY VEGAN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES AND BARS!!😊
By Danny Prater
Forget the pint, forget the spoon — this list of vegan ice cream bars and sandwiches has you covered if you’re looking for a quick, conscientious dessert on the go. The best part? You’ll be sparing cows a lifetime of suffering in the dairy industry. Check out the options below, and be sure to grab one the next time you head to the grocery store!🍦🍦🍦🍦
Vegan Ice Cream Bars
Do you have a favorite nondairy milk? Whether you prefer cashew, coconut, or almond, So Delicious has you covered with flavors in each one.
Coconut Bliss vegan ice cream bars come in two tempting flavors. Why not try them both?
DREAM frozen desserts are labeled according to which plant-based milk was used to make them. Look for varieties of its vegan ice cream bars in either Rice DREAM or Almond DREAM packaging.
Tofutti Cuties come in four flavors. These snack-sized vegan ice cream sandwiches will test your will power. Can you stop after eating just one?
On this list you’ll find both vegan ice cream sandwiches and bars from So Delicious, but the brand even has you covered if — somehow — ice cream isn’t your thing. The brand carries organic frozen fudge bars (made with coconut milk) in both regular and no-sugar-added varieties.
The vegan ice cream sandwiches from Coconut Bliss offer a twist on the standard option: They’re made with hemp seed chocolate chip cookies.
If you’ve already tried all of DREAM’s vegan ice cream sandwiches and bars, fear not! The brand also carries individually wrapped vegan ice cream pies and bites.
Look in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s for Soy Creamy products, including vegan ice cream sandwiches in vanilla and chocolate.
You may have a sweet tooth, but you can show your sweet heart for animals by always buying vegan food at the grocery store and when you head out to eat!!