There is a vast number of research showing that plants have the power to lower (and even reverse) our risk for many health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.
The vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants help keep cells healthy and the body in balance so that the immune system can function at its best.
A plant based diet can help control inflammation in the body, which can damage cells and tissue and has been linked to cancer and other inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
Plant foods are very high in fiber, a super important macronutrient that is often overlooked.
Most Americans consistently get less than half the fiber their bodies require. Fiber keeps cholesterol in check, can help balance hormones, slows blood glucose absorption and eliminates toxins.
Fiber also helps keep you feeling fuller longer which helps with weight loss and weight maintenance.
Animal products contain zero fiber.
Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss on our planet. The amount of land used for animal agriculture equates to about half of the entire habitable land on the planet.
According to Cornell University, “Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption”.
Moving towards a plant based diet can help end world hunger. It is a fact that the Earth can provide enough food to nourish every last person on the planet. Currently we grow enough grain to feed 70 billion farm animals every year, while 925 million of the 7 billion people on the planet are starving.
Agriculture accounts for about 87% of freshwater use, plus the waste produced by the industry pollute our waterways and air.
In addition to requiring less land and water, plant based diets are regarded as more sustainable as they require less energy from fossil fuels.
It is estimated that a diet based on animal products uses 160 times more land, water and fuel resources than a plant based diet.
99% of farmed animals in the US are raised in factory farms.
A factory farm is “an industrial facility that raises large numbers of farm animals such as pigs, chickens or cows in intensive confinement where their movements are extremely inhibited.”
The crowded, unsanitary conditions in factory farms are breeding grounds for all kinds of pathogens that are often passed on to humans.
Illnesses and injuries to these animals are left untreated, so the farms rely heavily on large doses of antibiotics which not only end up in the food we eat, but also create the potential for drug-resistant strains of bacteria to develop.
Factory farm workers are among the lowest paid laborers in the United States, and yet face disproportionately high risks for injury, illness and exploitation.
The by-products of these farms ravage rural, low-income communities, pollute the water, land and air compromising both human health and the environment.
And most importantly, cause unspeakable cruelty and suffering to sentient beings that should be treated with respect and compassion.