Okay world, we need to talk. The current state of our environment is dismal – there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than ever recorded in human history, our oceans are turning into wastelands, and we’ve lost well over half of the world’s wildlife in the past 40 years – and as the world’s population increases to nine billion by 2050, there is little hope for improvement. That is if we don’t start taking responsibility for our individual impact on the planet and actively seek out ways to make a positive change. To many people, the idea of becoming an “environmentalist” and altering their lifestyle is daunting, and frankly not something they’re interested in doing, but what if we told you that you can do one single thing that could drastically lower your environmental footprint – and benefit your health as well? Now you’re listening, huh?

Well, as One Green Planet’s Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Nil Zacharias, points out in a segment of TRT World’s The Newsmakers, that solution is as simple as choosing more plant-based foods over meat and dairy. Nil has spent the past three years writing extensively about how our food choices have the power to create a better, more sustainable world and was one of the first people to talk about the connection between animal agriculture and the environment. In fact, his understanding that the food, environment, and animal movements are all interconnected is what inspired him to start One Green Planet and take conscious consumerism and the power of plant-based food mainstream.

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As is discussed in the segment, the concept of going vegan for the environment has made a lot of headlines recently, with people debating for and against cutting out all animal products for the sake of preserving precious air, water, and land resources – as well as reducing animal cruelty. However, as Nil states, it’s not about the world, at large, going vegan, per say. It’s about empowering every single person on the planet with the knowledge that industrialized animal agriculture is at the heart of our environmental crisis (and is not even effectively feeding the world’s population) and we can all fight against climate change by eating plant-based – once a day, week, month or as frequently as possible. By leaving meat and dairy off your plate and choosing plant-based foods instead, you can halve your carbon footprint, save 162,486 gallons of water annually, and redirect enough grain for an additional 445 people. 

Whether you identify as “vegan” or not, we can all recognize the power that our food choices have to influence the future of our planet. Knowing we have this power, we must focus on solutions and as Nil has said, “The real war against climate is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make. This is one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and we are knowingly eating ourselves into extinction and doing very little about it.” So it is time to change that – if you want to start helping the planet every time you eat, join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.

Image source: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock

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