What does it mean to be a ‘Conscious Eater’?
For the majority of people the main considerations taken into account when making food choices are taste, convenience and price. Some will also consider health attributes and calories. However the true cost of food is not reflected in the price. As more and more people are learning about where their food comes from and the effect it has on our health as well as the lives of others, they are making more conscious choices. Voting with your fork can go a long way to bringing about positive change in the food industry.
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell shares the science behind the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted. Studies with lab animals and populations found the same results to be true – that a plant-based diet is by far the best diet for preventing disease and living a healthy life.
There are many other studies that back up this claim, showing that a plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke, as well as auto-immune diseases such as arthritis. In her book, Food Politics, Marion Nestle describes how the USDA would have been recommending a shift towards a plant-based diet many years ago, were it not for lobbying by the powerful meat, dairy and junk food industries in the US. The same is true for other countries.
More and more research studies are demonstrating the link between livestock production and environmental problems. The United Nations have been at the forefront of this research, producing an important report in 2006, Livestock’s Long Shadow. It was found that livestock produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transport sector. This includes nitrous oxide and methane, which are more damaging than CO2.
Eating a plant-based diet rather than a animal-based diet is a far more efficient use of resources, reducing water and land use, pollution, soil degradation and deforestation.
- Animal products and the environment >
- Meat and the environment >
- Meat and resources >
- Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change >
Advertisers would have us believe that all cows live in beautiful green pastures and enjoy giving us their milk, but the reality for cows and other farmed animals couldn’t be further from this image. In Canada and other western countries such as the US and UK, the majority of animals are factory farmed. This means cramped, miserable, filthy living conditions that most people would describe as horrific. Animals suffer greatly and a vote with your fork for plant-based foods instead of animal-based foods spares animals of this suffering. Most people believe in being compassionate towards our fellow living creatures and eating a plant-based diet aligns with this belief.
Thank you to Liberation BC and Vancouver Humane Society for the information and resources on their websites.