We might put a lot of thought into the food we eat every day (who doesn’t spend a majority of their morning contemplating what they’re going to eat for lunch), but we rarely stop to consider much about our food beyond the taste and perhaps nutritional content. Given the devastating impact that our food choices are having on the environment, however, we might want to start worrying about the consequences of what we choose to eat – rather than if we can swindle our way into a free side from our favorite lunch joint.

As this video shows, consuming meat and dairy is … well … destroying the planet. With a population of around 7.5 billion people on Earth, many of whom have a voracious appetite for burgers and cheese, we are expending a majority of our land and water resources to produce animals en mass. Unfortunately, as the demands for these food increases, companies who are cashing in on animal agriculture have resorted to converting dense forest areas to leveled plains to either graze more cattle or grow cheap corn or soybeans for livestock feed. Around 1,600 trees are lost every minute in the Amazon rainforest alone for this purpose!

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Despite all of the resources going into our global food system, we’re not getting a whole lot of out of it. Converting the massive swaths of grains grown for livestock into meat and dairy calories is very inefficient, and worldwide around one billion people suffer from lack of food. So, on whole, we’re losing rainforests (which are our best defense against air pollution and climate change) and countless animal species as a result – and we’re not even effectively nourishing the human population.

It is far past time we changed this – and as this video explains – we’re running out of time to do so.

You can start eating for the planet by doing nothing more than choosing a delicious plant-based meal over one laden with animal products. If you look at it from a personal perspective, you can cut your own carbon footprint in half just by leaving meat off your plate for one year. (Plus save a lot of water, redirect grain for people to eat, and help protect endangered species…)

You can #EatForThePlanet starting today. Just follow the three simple steps below.

1. Moderate: Limit consumption of your favorite meats like beef, lamb, pork, etc.

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2. Replace: Try to swap animal-based products in your daily diet with vegan alternatives (milk, butter, mayo, cheese, grilled chicken, beef crumbles, sausages, cold cuts, etc.)

3. Embrace: Add plant-based whole foods (local and organic when possible) to your diet like greens, fresh fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, plant proteins like lentils, nuts/seeds, beans, tofu, etc.

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As Nil Zacharias, the co-founder of One Green Planet says, “Eat in a way that nourishes you without starving the planet.”

We all have the power to create a better future for our children, and the countless animals we share the planet with, by making one easy swap. If you’re ready to start doing this in your own life, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.

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Image source: Asian Images/Shutterstock