Unfortunately, despite the increase in awareness of following a healthy diet and eating healthier, the U.S. remains the number one country when it comes to fast food consumption. Unhealthy diets have become a way of life for a lot of Americans, Well Mindness explain.
Though fast foods are convenient and affordable, have you ever thought about what needs to happen for you to have a hamburger or a hot dog on your plate?! Not only are animals being slaughtered to keep up with the demand for meat, but they are injected with all kinds of hormones to grow faster and weigh more and live in horrible conditions!
Even though many people decide to go vegan or vegetarian and thus, minimize the number of animals being hurt, the demand for meat remains steady.
The Cruelty of Factory Farming
The increase in the global appetite for meat is damaging the environment because of the production of crop-based feed for animals, according to The Guardian. The numerous growing crops like soy to rear pigs and chicken pressures the natural resources and results in a loss of species and lands.
The intensity of industrial farming is also reducing the nutrients in food and believe it or not, 6 reared chickens today contain omega-3 as one chicken in the 70s did.
According to Duncan Williamson, food policy manager from the WWF, we are consuming more protein from animals than we actually need and this is devastating for the wildlife. Sadly, 60 percent of the global loss of biodiversity is caused by the foods we eat.
Here is an eye-opening video of the cruelty done by the factory farming:
Switching to Plant-Based Diets Seems Reasonable?
A meat-based diet has a negative effect on our waters and land and it results in excessive greenhouse gas emissions and poultry is the biggest user of crop-based feed while the second largest is the pig industry, The Guardian point out.
Professor Mark Sutton, the creator of the term “demitarian” and lead author of a UN Environment Programme study points out that the need for cheaper meat in the last decades has caused a massive increase in intensive farming and an overuse of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers and a decrease in quality of water and air.
He emphasizes that our society must be more conscientious about food choices- not just make them good for our health, but good for the environment and the generations to come.
Sutton adds that a good approach is to include more veggies on our plates and less animal food. Even though we may not necessarily all become vegans and vegetarians, it is time to make meat less common, but a more special occurrence. This will not just nourish your body (veggies and plant-based foods are highly nutritious), but also benefit the environment.