Going green tip #3 is to go vegetarian or vegan, but doing so isn’t just about greening the planet and saving animals — it improves your life as well.
This is a pretty controversial one. But when it comes to going green, going vegetarian or going vegan may be the biggest thing you can do, so it would be a crime not to list it.
The good thing is, there are a lot of reasons why going vegetarian or vegan is good for you, not only for the planet and the animals whose lives you save.
Health and Happiness Benefits of Going Vegetarian
Vegetarians also live longer, studies have shown, and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) now recommends a vegetarian diet for its health benefits. So, if you’re interested in living a healthier life & living longer, this is one potential way you can do so.
If you’re still not convinced that it is healthier, check out some of the top athletes and fit celebrities who are (or were) vegetarian or vegan, including:
- Carl Lewis (“Athlete of the Century” last century)
- Elle Macpherson (“The Body”)
- Andre 3000
- Billie Jean King (tennis great)
- Ricky Williams (yes, the star football running back)
- Hank Aaron
- Shania Twain
- Christain Bale
- Josh Hartnett
- Orlando Bloom
- Kristin Bell
- ok, maybe not the most fit, but hard to leave him out — Albert Einstein
- many more…
Also, if you missed the news this week, studies have found babies growing breasts due to the growth hormones they put in cows these days (and those hormones making it into babies’ infant formulas).
How Much Greener is Going Vegetarian or Vegan?
Want some facts on how going vegetarian or vegan equates to going green? Here are a few:
- eating meat is essentially the third largest net contributor to global warming pollution in the world (behind using motor vehicles and burning household biofuels — mostly wood and animal dung), according to NASA;
- a few years ago the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found livestock production to be responsible for 18% of global warming pollution, but, more recently, a study published in the journal World Watch has found it to be responsible for as much as 51% of global warming pollution;
- the energy needed to produce meat and dairy is tremendously more than for most fruits and vegetables (graphs and charts here)
- the amount of water needed for meat and dairy production is also much greater.
So, if you’re interested in going green (and possibly even being healthier and happier), go vegetarian or vegan. For a little help on doing so, check out a post I wrote last year on how to go vegetarian or check out the eating vegan series on Eat.Drink..Better.
Photo Credit: Night-thing via flickr
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.