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More and more studies are showing that industrial animal agriculture is one of the largest drivers for some pretty serious environmental issues today. Saying nothing about the cruelties of the industry and the disastrous effects these food items can wreak on our personal health, consuming meat in the quantities that we do is impacting the environment on a global scale.

But there is good news. People are waking up to the disastrous effects of the animal agricultural industry. For the past few decades, meat consumption in the U.S. has seen a steady decline. According to recent studies, 30 percent of Americans are not only leaving meat off their plates but also seeking out plant-based meat alternatives.

What’s more, according to some estimates, the plant-based meat market is set to reach $5.2 billion by 2020 and could make up one-third of the market by 2050. Not only is the popularity of plant-based meat on the rise, pea protein, a high source of clean, plant-based protein, is emerging as a new contender in the global protein market. And now we have yet another sign that the future of food is plant-based

According to a recent Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017 report, six percent of the U.S. population now identifies as vegan, compared to one percent in 2014!

In 2016, there was a 90 percent increase in the amount of Google searches for the word “vegan,” so the increase is people choosing to identify as such seems to be rising as well. Sounds like people are eager to learn more about the impact of meat consumption on the environmentanimals, and themselves – and more importantly, they’re making a shift in their diets.

The Top Trends report identified six key trends impacting innovation in prepared foods and abstaining from meat was ranked number one. According to the report, this is due to “Rising veganism and awareness of the impact of meat consumption are driving demand for meat-free products substitutes.” The report also teases that a tech team is promising that cruelty-free cultured “chicken” will be available by 2022. The fact is people want products that are better for them and better for the environment and we’re ecstatically clapping our hands in Support!

As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, it is One Green Planet’s view that our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future.

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.

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.

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.

Lead image source: jill111/Pixabay