HOW CAN WE KILL 3 BIRDS WITH ONE STONE?

What impressed me from the responses to my last 2 articles on Climate Change were the hundreds of sad faces (emogis) that people posted. Yes, the situation is sad…but fortunately there´s still time to change things around. This follow-up article shares the hope that I have…that together we can make a difference.

With regards to the title, don´t get me wrong. I´m not interested in killing 3 birds with one stone…not even 1 bird with 1 stone. It´s just to emphasize the power of this particular stone.

So, what are the 3 birds?

1) Climate Change
2) Factory Farms
3) Chronic Diseases

And…the Stone?

WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED NUTRITION (WFPB)

So let´s get started…

1) CLIMATE CHANGE:
There are a lot of Naysayers who either don´t believe in Climate Change or Global Warming or do believe but think that it´s a natural occurring cycle that has appeared during different eras throughout the Earth´s history and that human beings are not the cause and cannot change the course. My response to those people is “Not only do 97% of scientists worldwide agree that climate change is happening at a faster rate than ever before but nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations hold the position that this time climate change has been caused by human action.”

Maybe we´re not at the point where we can say with 100% accuracy that humans are completely responsible for climate change, but if we accept the belief that humans have nothing to do with it, as some of the deniers claim, aren´t we setting ourselves up for possible global catastrophes…maybe 50 or 100 years in the future? However, if the opposite is true…that humans are to blame…then maybe, if we “put our noses to the grindstone” we can come up with the necessary solutions.
Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations:

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.”

If we combine that statement with the information on greenhouse gases that I presented in my last 2 posts (methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide), and begin to substitute grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds for animal products (meat, dairy and eggs), we can begin to slow down and eventually stop the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

2) FACTORY FARMS:
Factory farming is the intensive confinement of farmed animals raised for food and invented during the 1950s and 60s by scientists who knew that there was no way to continue feeding animal products to an increasing human population…without a significant increase in efficiency. Allowing animals, such as cows, chickens and pigs to roam free required vast expanses of land and was no longer feasible to satisfy the billions of meat eaters around the world. Grass-fed animals also require more food because the animals gain weight slower on a grass diet than they do with a manufactured, concentrated feed, which is most often not the natural food of these animals.

As I pointed out in my last 2 posts (Climate Change – The Solution is on Your Plate), the methane and nitrous oxide gas emissions from factory farm animals are the number 1 cause of global warming. This is supported by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization:

“The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a higher share than transport which emits 13.5 percent. In addition to CO2, environmentally toxic gases produced by livestock include nitrous oxide, methane, and ammonia generated from the animals’ intestines—belching, farting, and manure. The report says “The impact is so severe that it needs to be addressed with urgency.”

Hence, the only way factory farms, with the inhumane treatment of animals, can be abolished is by the reduction of the demand for meat and that will only happen if:

• The public becomes aware of the horrible environment and inhumane treatment and torture that factory farm animals experience.
• People stop seeing farm animals as commercial products and begin to see that, just like our pet dogs and cats, they have feelings too.
• The truth about the healthier protein from plants becomes widely accepted, especially by doctors and other health practitioners.
• People begin to accept the facts regarding the effect that factory farms are having on climate change.  

3) Chronic Diseases:
It is now well known that diet plays a huge factor in preventing and fighting chronic diseases, yet many healthcare providers, including our own doctors, are unaware of this research. These are the doctors we go to and trust as the ultimate health experts, yet they are missing vital information on how we can prevent disease in the first place. Initially, it´s not their fault and they´re doing the best they know how to do. Unfortunately, very few medical schools dedicate more than a few hours on nutrition, during a doctor´s education. Their training is mainly focused on treating the symptoms of illness and disease, through pharmaceutical medicines and interventions such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. When it comes to diet, yes they may say “It´s important to lose weight, cut down on saturated fats and lower cholesterol but in most cases that´s about how specific it gets.
This just gets me thinking about how important it is for us to educate ourselves on everything that is out there… from conventional treatments to integrative and lifestyle approaches… and then make an educated decision on our own path to health. It just makes sense that the better that we treat our body and mind through lifestyle choices such as whole food plant based nutrition, exercise, stress avoidance and environmental factors, the healthier we will be.

How do we know this? Well, in populations that follow these choices (rural China, Japan, parts of Africa and the Blue Zones), people live longer and the illnesses and chronic diseases that we suffer and die from (i.e., heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, high blood pressure, etc.), are almost non-existent there.

The Good News is that…

Since a Whole Food Plant Based diet is that one stone that can tackle Climate Change, Factory Farms and Chronic Diseases head on, it´s a great solution all around…a win-win situation for people, animals and the planet. What makes this so promising and gives us hope is that the solution doesn´t lie in the hands of big businesses or the government. It lies in the hands of each human being and because of that…we have the power of choice to make the difference.

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