Take the Challenge
October 1–7 2016-05-22
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” — Albert Einstein
GOOD REASONS TO TAKE THE CHALLENGE
For your health
Changing to a plant-based diet is an excellent way to improve your health. Many of us don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables on a daily basis leading to a diet low in fibre and nutrients, and high in saturated fat – a recipe for ill health. In contrast, vegetarians and vegans eat a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Those who follow this diet consume higher amounts of vitamins, fibre, potassium, folic acid, magnesium and plant phytochemicals. They have lower rates of bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and vegetarians tend to have a healthy BMI, which leads to lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, especially cancer of the colon and obesity-related health problems.
Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can improve, or even reverse existing common conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as increase health longevity.
With less chronic disease in the population, the health system savings could be diverted into other areas, such as education, child-care, medical research or even tax cuts for individuals.
For the environment
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) livestock farming is responsible for 70 per cent of emissions created from agricultural practices. The UN states that more greenhouse gas is emitted from livestock production, than from the combination of all of the world’s transport. Those figures are alarming! If the Australian population gave up eating beef for only one week, the greenhouse gas emission savings would equal 31,500 Sydney to Melbourne road trips in a Toyota Prius.
For every hectare of land used to produce protein from wheat or rice, seven hectares are required to produce the same amount of protein from beef. Therefore, growing plant food results in more food production per hectare and less water usage. In this era of environmental conservation, we need to place a great deal of importance on the finite resources of land and water.
For the animals
There are huge numbers of animals slaughtered for meat and other products each week in Australia. According to figures quoted on the Animals Australia website, 41,000 sheep; 56,000 cows; 123,000 pigs; 211,000 lambs; and 9,000,000 chickens are slaughtered every week. Many of these animals are factory farmed, and lead stressful and unhappy lives. Often living in cramped conditions, they can be subjected to routine farming practices such as dehorning, castration, mulesing, and tail amputations, all without pain relief. Finally they are loaded on to cramped trucks in all weather conditions to be transported, under stress, to slaughter.
Take the pledge today
If every Australian participated in the vegetarian challenge for just one week, approximately 10 million animals would be spared an untimely end in a slaughterhouse. Thousands of litres of water would be saved, and our carbon footprint would be drastically reduced.
Why not visit the Animals Australia website and take the Vegetarian pledge? You can sign the pledge for one week, one year, or a lifetime, and you can discover a whole new way of cooking and eating, that is not only healthy, it is delicious.
The planet, animals and your body will thank you.
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