Four important arguments for switching to a plant-based diet

Considering I run a vegan food blog, perhaps it is not surprising that I think a plant-based diet is the most delicious and exciting way of eating. There are however even stronger arguments for choosing to eat less animal protein. These four reasons keep convincing me day after day that steering away from meat, eggs and milk is a wise choice:

Reason 1: It’s been scientifically proven over and over again that a plant-based diet promotes health and longevity.

A number of scientific studies from the world’s most well respected research institutes show that consuming animal protein – milk products definitely included – can be directly harmful for us and is connected to some of our most feared diseases such as cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Eating significantly less animal protein than what most of us do is central for longevity.  Herehere and here are a few examples of studies (or coverage of) from University of Southern California, Harvard and Karolinska, but there are many, many more with findings leading to the same conclusions – eat less meat, drink less milk, eat more vegetables!

Another significant health aspect is that by eating animal products, we are also at high risk of indirectly consuming antibiotics which is given to animals for faster growth and disease control to compensate for the animal’s often unhygienic living conditions. Few people will have missed that antibiotics resistance – largely caused by overuse – is recognized by all governments in the world as one of the near future’s major health threats. An entire 80% of the world’s antibiotics is given to animals raised for food (as opposed to the 20%, which is given to humans).

Reason 2: Today’s meat consumption is severely contributing to ruining our gorgeous planet. I challenge anyone to find a serious scientist who says it is sustainable. 

To start, meat eating generates more greenhouse gas than all transportation worldwide (that is all cars, planes, trains, trucks – the lot – grouped together), says the UN’s Food and Agriculture division. The same organization states that an entire 30% of all land on this planet is used by livestock. That is how much space the animals we eat need to live, and their food need to grow. Every minute, a rainforest area equivalent of 36 football fields is shoveled down, mostly for cattle ranching, according to WWF. And despite most of us taking it for granted, fresh water is actually a scarcity in the world, and 27% of what is used in total by us humans go to raising food animals that we will later eat. That can be compared with the 4% we use at home for showering, gardening, doing the dishes etc. Animals need to drink, and their food need water to grow. Read the study here.

Reason 3: Today’s meat production is counter-productive in terms in feeding the world’s starving (and growing) population. 

Just like with the environment reason, this has to do with inefficiency. When you eat meat, you eat not only that piece of food, but also all the water and food, which that animal needed to live. It feels like common sense that this is not the most efficient way of feeding the world’s 7.3 billion people. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, food animals are fed 6 kg of plant protein for every 1 kg of animal protein produced. 40% of all grain grown globally are fed to animals raised for food. And in parallel with these mindboggling statistics, 800 million people suffer from malnutrition due to lack of food today according to The world Food Programme, and every year, 3.1 million children die before their fifth birthday because of the same. Even if there are also other major factors behind world starvation (geography, corruption, war etc), outlining these realties next to one another, and the inequalities become very disturbing. An ecologist from the Cornell University claims that the grain fed to livestock in only the US, could feed 800 million people. To make matters worse, meat is strongly linked to global warming (as we know) which will hit the less fortunate parts of the world the hardest.

Reason 4: Animals, just like humans, have the ability to experience joy, pain and fear. They want to live, and they don’t want to suffer. Which is what close to all of them do, immensely, to become meat on your plate.

Billions and billions of intelligent animals go through immense suffering before they die to become food on our plates. Animals that just like your loyal dog, horse or cat are able to feel pain, fear and joy. Cows loudly mourn their calves that are taken away from them soon after birth. Pigs, which by nature are friendly and highly intelligent animals (more so than dogs, animal behaviorists say) are placed in cramped warehouses far from what would be their natural surrounding. Hens, also social and smart animals – did you know they can use the sun to navigate and are the most caring and protective mothers? – live in cages where they can hardly turn around. This is the reality behind the meat on your plate, across all countries (even if it is worse in some), from most farms, organic or non-organic, with only incredibly few exceptions.

Despite all of the above, the global meat consumption has tripled over the last four decades and continues to rise.  We eat enormous amounts of meat, dairy and eggs. Choosing a plant-based diet on an individual level helps to change this and is therefore making so much sense to a growing number of people across the western world. Perhaps it is something worth considering for you too? Even if you’re not ready to give up on meat completely, perhaps do it for a few meals a week, and when you do eat meat, make sure it comes from those rare more responsible places. You will help make a big difference. And my guess is you will find that you actually love your new food habits. 

 

 

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  • Our Green Pea Tagliatelle in colorful company in this ‘Winter Glow Noodle Bowl with Orange Peanut Sauce’ by @occasionallyeggs (I need some of that!). The recipe is on her super yummy blog www.occasionallyeggs.com #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #veganprotein #vegansofig #bohnennudeln #foodblog #startup #vegetarisch #glutenfree #glutenfrei #highprotein #lowcarb #veganbowl photo: @occasionallyeggs

    planetplantbased: "Our Green Pea Tagliatelle in colorful company in this ‘Winter Glow Noodle Bowl with Orange Peanut Sauce’ by @occasionallyeggs (I need some of that!). The recipe is on her super yummy blog www.occasionallyeggs.com #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #veganprotein #vegansofig #bohnennudeln #foodblog #startup #vegetarisch #glutenfree #glutenfrei #highprotein #lowcarb #veganbowl photo: @occasionallyeggs"
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  • I couldn’t be happier to announce that this superstar has joined Planet Plant-Based. Welcome Valérie! The connection was immediate when she entered my life a few years ago to help with a number of language barriers in my new home country (Valérie doubles as a language coach). We share so many beliefs and I can’t imagine anybody else being better at explaining exactly what Planet Plant-Based is about. She has a wealth of food experience, not the least from growing up in the family behind one of Bavaria’s first organic supermarkets. Since Valérie came onboard to help with sales and German communications a few months ago so many great things have happened. You reach her on valerie@planetplantbased.com. #planetplantbased #eatbetter #startup #edamamenudeln #vegan #plantbased #veganprotein #glutenfree #bohnennudeln #beanpasta #organic #biolebensmittel

    planetplantbased: "I couldn’t be happier to announce that this superstar has joined Planet Plant-Based. Welcome Valérie! The connection was immediate when she entered my life a few years ago to help with a number of language barriers in my new home country (Valérie doubles as a language coach). We share so many beliefs and I can’t imagine anybody else being better at explaining exactly what Planet Plant-Based is about. She has a wealth of food experience, not the least from growing up in the family behind one of Bavaria’s first organic supermarkets. Since Valérie came onboard to help with sales and German communications a few months ago so many great things have happened. You reach her on valerie@planetplantbased.com. #planetplantbased #eatbetter #startup #edamamenudeln #vegan #plantbased #veganprotein #glutenfree #bohnennudeln #beanpasta #organic #biolebensmittel"
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  • Just made a batch of this. The creamiest and silkiest vegan chocolate mousse I ever tried. It’s made with tofu and hazelnut butter and lots of #raw cacao. #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #vegansofig #wholefoods #organic #bestofvegan #huffposttaste #veganbowl #thrivemags #glutenfree #glutenfrei #vegetarisch #startup #foodblog

    planetplantbased: "Just made a batch of this. The creamiest and silkiest vegan chocolate mousse I ever tried. It’s made with tofu and hazelnut butter and lots of #raw cacao.  #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #vegansofig #wholefoods #organic #bestofvegan #huffposttaste #veganbowl #thrivemags #glutenfree #glutenfrei #vegetarisch #startup #foodblog"
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  • We’re now also in Hamburg! And it’s a little extra special to see Planet Plant-Based in these very shelves because they happen to be in Germany’s first strictly gluten-free supermarket. For someone who has celiac disease, like I do, this means a piece of space which feels safe and comforting. No need to spend hours reading labels here! If you’re in Hamburg, do pop into Glut’N’free at Spritzenplatz 10. From today with our full range of organic bean pasta! #planetplantbased #eatbetter #vegan #glutenfree #highprotein #highfibre #lowcarb #vegetarisch #glutenfrei #vegansofig #gesundessen #glutenfreeinhamburg #hamburg #veganinhamburg #organic

    planetplantbased: "We’re now also in Hamburg! And it’s a little extra special to see Planet Plant-Based in these very shelves because they happen to be in Germany’s first strictly gluten-free supermarket. For someone who has celiac disease, like I do, this means a piece of space which feels safe and comforting. No need to spend hours reading labels here! If you’re in Hamburg, do pop into Glut’N’free at Spritzenplatz 10. From today with our full range of organic bean pasta! #planetplantbased #eatbetter #vegan #glutenfree #highprotein #highfibre #lowcarb #vegetarisch #glutenfrei #vegansofig #gesundessen #glutenfreeinhamburg #hamburg #veganinhamburg #organic"
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  • Our Chickpea and Turmeric Fusilli with roasted cauliflower and garlic. Recipe inspiration from @thefirstmess everything else by Alexandra, the very talented foodie behind @occasionallyeggs. I have always adored her Instagram photos so I’m excited she will now be taking some of our pasta - stay tuned for more. #planetplantbased #eatbetter #vegan #glutenfree #beanpasta #vegansofig #vegetarisch #bohnennudeln #veganprotein #highprotein #lowcarb #bestofvegan #meatfreemonday #foods4thought #gesundessen

    planetplantbased: "Our Chickpea and Turmeric Fusilli with roasted cauliflower and garlic. Recipe inspiration from @thefirstmess everything else by Alexandra, the very talented foodie behind @occasionallyeggs. I have always adored her Instagram photos so I’m excited she will now be taking some of our pasta - stay tuned for more. #planetplantbased #eatbetter #vegan #glutenfree #beanpasta #vegansofig #vegetarisch #bohnennudeln #veganprotein #highprotein #lowcarb #bestofvegan #meatfreemonday #foods4thought #gesundessen"
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  • To beat a cold this week I revisited this old favorite (recipe on the blog) more than once. Creamy, hot and still kind of raw, all at the same time. In this photo topped with sunflower seed mousse and coriander for extra yumminess (and nutrients). #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #plantbased #meatfree #vegan #vegansoffig #foodblog #organic #wholefoods #foods4thought #meatfreemonday #vegetarisch #glutenfree #glutenfrei #vegetarisch #gesundessen #veganbowls

    planetplantbased: "To beat a cold this week I revisited this old favorite (recipe on the blog) more than once. Creamy, hot and still kind of raw, all at the same time. In this photo topped with sunflower seed mousse and coriander for extra yumminess (and nutrients). #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #plantbased #meatfree #vegan #vegansoffig #foodblog #organic #wholefoods #foods4thought #meatfreemonday #vegetarisch #glutenfree #glutenfrei #vegetarisch #gesundessen #veganbowls"
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  • The trick to make kale into something really delicious is to give it a little massage. Here softened with a lemon, salt and avocado rub, then topped with pomegranate and pine-nuts. A real winter booster. ❄️💪#planetplantbased #vegan #eatfortheplanet #vegansoffig #plantbased #eattherainbow #wholedoods #organic #bestofvegan #superfoods #healthyfood #foodblog

    planetplantbased: "The trick to make kale into something really delicious is to give it a little massage. Here softened with a lemon, salt and avocado rub, then topped with pomegranate and pine-nuts. A real winter booster. ❄️💪#planetplantbased #vegan #eatfortheplanet #vegansoffig #plantbased #eattherainbow #wholedoods #organic #bestofvegan #superfoods #healthyfood #foodblog"
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  • Hanging out with pasta, pots and pans, loads of vegetables AND my very talented photographer friend @sandrafyhr trying to make the most of my messy self and kitchen for fun upcoming Planet Plant-Based things. Not always an easy task...!😬🙏🙏🙏❤️ #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #startup #edamamenudeln #vegan #vegetarisch #plantbased #vegansofig #beanpasta

    planetplantbased: "Hanging out with pasta, pots and pans, loads of vegetables AND my very talented photographer friend @sandrafyhr trying to make the most of my messy self and kitchen for fun upcoming Planet Plant-Based things. Not always an easy task...!😬🙏🙏🙏❤️ #planetplantbased #eatbetter #eatfortheplanet #startup #edamamenudeln #vegan #vegetarisch #plantbased #vegansofig #beanpasta"
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  • Annelina, @food_without_regrets , thanks sooo much for sharing this photo with me....now I only need the recipe - it looks absolutely delicious!!! Thank you for cooking with our Black Bean Spaghetti! 😍❤️ #planetplantbased #blackbeanspaghetti #foodwithoutregrets #vegan #gesundessen #vegetarisch #plantbased #eatfortheplanet #beanpasta #glutenfrei #glutenfree #glutenfreinudeln #lowcarb #highprotein #veganprotein #eatbetter #healthyeats

    planetplantbased: "Annelina, @food_without_regrets , thanks sooo much for sharing this photo with me....now I only need the recipe - it looks absolutely delicious!!! Thank you for cooking with our Black Bean Spaghetti! 😍❤️ #planetplantbased #blackbeanspaghetti #foodwithoutregrets #vegan #gesundessen #vegetarisch #plantbased #eatfortheplanet #beanpasta #glutenfrei #glutenfree #glutenfreinudeln #lowcarb #highprotein #veganprotein #eatbetter #healthyeats"
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  • I couldn’t be happier this Sunday to look back at a week where Planet Plant-Based reached a lovely milestone - our products’ first retail presence. I’ve visualized what’s in this photo since the day I decided to go for my dream of turning my food blog into an actual food company. I feel very grateful that #karstadt has given us the chance. I’ve always loved their Leopoldstraße shop, where they have such an excellent fresh vegetable selection and loads of innovative, high-quality products - now including our full range of organic, vegan, high-protein and gluten-free bean pasta! #planetplantbased #eatfortheplanet #vegan #munich #veganprotein #beanpasta #vegansoffig #foodblog #startup #vegetarian #vegetarisch #glutenfrei #gesundessen #veganeseiweiss #highfibre #lowcarb @our_outdooradventures

    planetplantbased: "I couldn’t be happier this Sunday to look back at a week where Planet Plant-Based reached a lovely milestone - our products’ first retail presence. I’ve visualized what’s in this photo since the day I decided to go for my dream of turning my food blog into an actual food company. I feel very grateful that #karstadt has given us the chance. I’ve always loved their Leopoldstraße shop, where they have such an excellent fresh vegetable selection and loads of innovative, high-quality products - now including our full range of organic, vegan, high-protein and gluten-free bean pasta! #planetplantbased #eatfortheplanet #vegan #munich #veganprotein #beanpasta #vegansoffig #foodblog #startup #vegetarian #vegetarisch #glutenfrei #gesundessen #veganeseiweiss #highfibre #lowcarb @our_outdooradventures"
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