Always Well Within

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Greening your diet

In 1969, Frances Moore Lappe discovered that half of the U. S. harvested acreage went to livestock feed.  She also learned that it takes 16 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of meat.  Concerned about the earth’s capacity to produce sufficient food for all its inhabitant, this discovery, and the inefficient use of resources it implied, rocked her world.  She went on to write the bestselling Diet for a Small Planet that advocated a plant based diet.  In 1987, John Robbins wrote his alarming exposé of animal factory farming called Diet for a New America.

Fast forward forty years plus and we find ourselves in the grips of global warming against the backdrop of extremely popular high protein diets for weight loss.  Many Americans continue to eat more than twice the amount of protein required in a healthy diet.

All the evidence continues to point to the fact that meat based diets are not sustainable in the long-term and are actually harmful for the planet.  Consider these points:

  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that livestock production produces 18% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The production of a single hamburger uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car for 20 miles.
  • Producing 2.2 pounds of beef requires almost the same amount of energy it takes to light a 100-watt light bulb for almost 20 days.
  • Run-off from animal feed croplands and animal factory farms including all the animal wastes releases more pollution into our waterways than all other human activities combined.
  • Animal agriculture turns forests and prairies into barren deserts.

The simple truth is this:  reducing your intake of meat or becoming vegan will help to address global warming, air and water pollution, and land degradation.  By taking this step, you will be part of ensuring that there is adequate food supplies for all people on the planet and fewer animals will be harmed.  You will be setting a positive role model of conscious living for your children and their children.

I understand that making a diet change is not necessarily easy, but I hope you will consider the idea if you haven’t already.  Generally, it’s recommended to make diet changes gradually to give your body time to acclimatize.  A handy approach is reducing your intake of the item in question by 1/3rd for a few weeks or a month, then by another 1/3rd for a few weeks or a month, and finally by the last 1/3rd.  If it’s difficult for you to switch entirely to a vegetarian or vegan diet, even cutting your meat intake by 50-75% is a move in a positive direction.

I am currently not a vegetarian myself due to medical reasons.  However, I have cut my intake of animal flesh down to a minimum and never buy it at a supermarket.

As always, the power to make a difference is in our hands.  The cows will thank you.


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  1. Hi Sandra,
    I eat fish, chicken and turkey. I’ve recently decided to eat “faces” only on weekends. It’s a second step for me. Great post one that needs repeating!

    • Welcome Tess and thanks so much for sharing your strategy. That’s a great approach! I see you are taking bold steps in a systematic way, which is so inspiring. I appreciate your wish to live in joy and wonder and the whole intention behind your blog. I see you boldly smashing any fears that arise as you move toward success!!!! Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. A really good book about being vegan is titled “Thrive” it’s got tons of information on how to eat vegan. I love food (as we all do, right). I have been considering posting some really interesting vegan recipes. Like have you ever tried Quinoa hash?
    Sprouted Quinoa (let quinoa sit in water for 4 hours and it sprouts, which makes it very easy to digest)
    then cook it like you would hash (I use coconut oil) adding pretty much any veggie (celery, carrot, onion, brocolli, etc). It’s delicious. And one of the most healthy foods. (Quinoa is high in protein and fiber, so it really helps keep the system running optimally).

    • Luis, This sounds delicious. I’m on a low-oxalate diet so quinoa is not a food I can eat, but I’m sure others will appreciate this yummy option. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hej Sandra

    How do we really know about our food. There will always comes up something new about our animals. We have lots of water here in Sweden and so far as we know the water is really clean and fresh and I eat lots of fish..But most Salmon in all forms…

    Your symbol of a Lotus tree is very nice……

    Have a great day and I hope the sun is there

    • Hi Kojiki, So nice of you to visit! You ask a good question. There are traditional cultures that depend upon the sea for their diet so I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules or that it’s beneficial to judge others. We too have lots of water in Hawaii, but 75% of the reef species are in critical condition or depleted. Larger fish have mercury contamination. A dilemma indeed. I think we each need to look at our own situation and native habitat and determine what is best for oneself taking into account the environment at the same time. It’s a complex and interconnected.

      It’s funny, the lotus does look like a little tree even though it’s simply the stem. I like it too and I think I am now, more or less, satisfied with the design aspect of my blog (although always subject to change!:)). We had a little sunshine today but also lots of rain. That is wonderful for the garden and the baby bok choy I am growing. You too have a beautiful day.

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