*Go Vegan and Save the World
This week was particularly challenging. A number of separate reports are stark wake-up calls on the acceleration of the climate crisis and its collision with the hideous Sixth Mass Extinction.
My colleagues proposed that we add a Category 6, or, sustained winds above 190 miles per hour, to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Increased combustion of subsidized fossil fuels is adding mega zettajoules of heat into the oceans. This heat is driving Nature’s fiercest storms, hurricanes and cyclones, to greater intensities. It is also slowing them down by 10 percent, causing more destruction.
Repeated, prolonged, marine heatwaves have killed 99 percent of Japan’s largest coral reef and 50 percent of the largest network of reefs on the globe, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. As a result of loss of vital habitat and rapacious fisheries, Australia’s fish stocks, especially large fish, plummeted by 36 percent.
So, what can each of us do?
The single biggest thing that you can do, right now, is to switch your diet to a whole-food, plant-based diet. Animal agriculture directly contributes to more climate-damaging greenhouses gases than the entire global transportation sector. Moreover, animal agriculture runoff is fertilizing giant algal blooms, which decompose, remove oxygen from the ocean, and result in lifeless zones. There are an estimated 530 expanding dead zones in our oceans.
World Bank advisers reported that eating meat contributes 51 percent of all climate-damaging greenhouse gases.”
Two World Bank advisers reported that eating meat from 70 billion farmed animals, including accelerated tropical deforestation to grow more animal feed, annually contributes 51 percent of all climate-damaging greenhouse gases.
Under the sea it’s even worse. Trawl fisheries are irreparably bulldozing an area of the ocean floor and cold sea coral gardens equivalent to 150 times the area looted in ancient forests each year. I emailed my colleague, fisheries professor Daniel Pauley and asked, “How many sea creatures are destroyed annually?” He responded, “A quick guess is 10-100 trillion per year.” Horrific.
This much we do know. Humans are removing everything large from the sea and it’s accelerating. Nothing like this has ever occurred in the previous five other mass extinctions. It’s unprecedented in 1.1 billion years of reproductive evolution.
It’s time to immediately take corrective action. By switching your diet, you are choosing to switch-on your compassionate genes. Since the human condition is based upon relationships and the communities we live in, your decision to go plant-based will influence your family and friends. Change begins with each person, and like a rock landing on a calm pond, it ripples forth.
Kudos to the Aussies: 11.2 percent of the Australian population, or, 2.1 million people, have embraced veganism.
My medical colleagues have shown that low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diets successfully reverse heart disease, depression, arthritis, and even migraines.
Migraines afflict 38 million Americans. Those suffering from migraines have a higher abundance of mouth bacteria that reduce compounds such as nitrates into nitrites, which can be converted into nitric oxide. Increased nitric oxide in human blood serum is linked to migraines. Foods like hot dogs and processed luncheon meats are laced with nitrates. It’s all the more reason to switch your diet.
So how do you achieve switching your diet to low-fat, whole-food, and plant-based? Is it an all or nothing process? Does it mean that you must give up your favorite food forever? No. Small steps indeed matter.
I would suggest dialing back your favorite meal to once a month and recommend following a plan. Lani Muelrath’s The Plant-Based Journey is a terrific step-by-step guide for transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. It’s a practical guide to help set up your plant-based kitchen. Muelrath helps unravel previous practices of eating and thinking.
“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all the natural disasters, and all the automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of ‘real food for real people’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital,” warned Dr. Neal Barnard, the founding president of the vegan and animal rights activist group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Researchers in Asia found that eating red meat, chicken and fish increased diabetes rate by 23, 15 and 7 percent, respectively.
At the end of the day, adults and children want more fun. Fun can only be savored if you and your family are healthy. Maintaining health, therefore, is crucial to your existence. That’s why it is so important for you and your family to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet.
Join the fastest growing movement; become a vegan and save the world!
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is
Save Nature Now