By Fiona Riddle
You can help promote environmental sustainability without changing your lifestyle.
In the past few years, the trend of eating vegan has become exponentially more prevalent in society for various reasons. Three of these include personal health, the movement against animal cruelty, and environmental pressures. Much research has supported cutting meat and dairy out of one’s diet as a way to promote environmental sustainability due to the enormous environmental costs livestock production has. Regardless of the reason, however, transitioning to a fully vegan diet can be difficult, especially for those who are used to consuming animal products with every meal. It can seem daunting for many people, causing them to shy away from the notion altogether.
While the trend of dairy-free and meat-free diets have become so popular recently, numerous restaurants catered more towards eating vegan have begun popping up on seemingly every street corner in large cities in America. Los Angeles, for example, currently has around 145 fully vegan restaurants to choose from (www.happycow.net) in every possible cuisine imaginable.
What does this mean? It no longer has to be a struggle to eat vegan, even if you're not ready for a full lifestyle change. Eating just a few meals a week that don’t contain animal products can have a substantial positive impact on the environment. As the demand for meat and dairy decreases, there will be less of a need to produce such copious amounts of animal products – much of which ends up turning into waste anyways.
So, if you’re looking for a way to help decrease your carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions, it can’t hurt to start small. Explore new vegan restaurants with friends, find alternatives to your favorite dairy products, and try cooking an animal-product-free meal once a week. You might end up loving the results!