One of the most straightforward ways to have a positive impact on the lives of farm animals and the health of the planet is to reduce your meat, egg, and dairy consumption—and explore the wide, expanding world of plant-based protein options.
Why make the change?
Factory farming is harming our ecosystems: vast areas of land are used for chemical-intensive mono-crops grown for animal feed. Globally, enough forest to fill more than a quarter of the state of California is cleared every year, mainly for ranching or growing animal feed.
What’s more, cramped conditions on factory farms encourage the spread of diseases, such as avian flu. In the US, 80 percent of all antibiotics are used on farm animals, given in daily feed to ward off diseases. The overuse of antibiotics on farm animals is one of the main factors contributing to the rapid rise of drug-resistant superbugs.
Every minute, approximately 120,000 farm animals are slaughtered around the world, with the majority raised on factory farms where animals cannot express their natural behaviors.
Initially rooted in health concerns, a nationwide campaign called Meatless Mondays was started to encourage people to have one meat-free day a week. And change is happening: according to the USDA, the total red meat and poultry per capita consumption in the US has been declining since 2007—from 221.7 lbs to 214.5 lbs.
How can I make a difference?
An easy, highly effective way to help farm animals and support a more sustainable food system is to swap some animal products for healthy plant-based protein. It’s better for animals, your health, and the planet! You can get all the nutrients your body requires from plant-based sources. Start by trying a variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins such as beans and legumes. And the number of delicious, nutritious meat and dairy replacements—from almond milk to egg-free mayo to plant-based meat alternatives—is expanding all the time.
Whether you’re looking to eat less meat, or transition to a fully vegetarian or vegan diet, your food choices make a big impact on our world. For more information about plant-based alternatives and a list of plant-based products, download our free Food Guide!