There are two types of people in the world. One group is vegans and the other group is people who should be vegans. I can say that because I’m still struggling to join the ranks of the former group.
Being a vegetarian is easy. Going vegan means learning how to prepare foods without dairy, which is far more complex. Enter Hampton Creek, makers of vegan mayonnaise “Just Mayo.” They have just added 43 new vegan foods to their product line that will be available at Walmart, Target, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, and Amazon. No more side trips to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Some of the delicious new foods are pancakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, cakes, dessert mixes and salad dressings. The word “vegan” may be missing from the label, but don’t let that fool you — all of these goodies are made with plant-based ingredients and taste just as good as — or better than — their animal-laced counterparts
Apparently, this just the beginning — Hampton Creek is developing another 500 vegan products, and has a five-year global agreement with a gigantic food service called Compass Group, which serves meals in offices and universities. This large-scale distribution has given Hampton Creek guaranteed volume, and is taking the world one giant step forward in responsible eating.
Vegan Can Save the Planet & Feed Everyone
Scientists have been touting veganism as a remedy for environmental damages for years. In 2010, the UN recommended a global shift towards a vegan diet to save the world from hunger, increasing poverty, and to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
As the global population increases towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, diets dominated by meat and dairy products are not sustainable, according to the report from United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management.
Cows consume a great deal of water and farming meat produces the three toxins that cause Global Warming: Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, and Methane.
Carbon Dioxide: Each person who becomes a vegan reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons per year. If one person eats one less chicken meal per week Carbon Monoxide emissions would be reduced the same amount as 500,000 cars produce from driving.
Methane: Cows, pigs, turkeys, and chickens produce most of the Methane in the United States. Methane traps twenty times more heat in the earth’s atmosphere than Carbon Dioxide.
Nitrous Oxide: Milk, eggs, and dairy create 65% of the world’s Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous Oxide traps 30% more heat in the earth’s atmosphere than Carbon Monoxide.
One calorie from animal protein requires eleven times as much fossil fuel as one calorie of a plant protein. Meat eaters create seven times the greenhouse emissions as vegans.
Vegan Foods Save Water
Almost half of the water used in the US is used for raising animals for food. Producing one pound of meat requires 2,400 gallons of water — so not eating a pound of meat saves as much water as if you didn’t shower for six months. A vegan diet is comprised of 300 gallons of water per day; an omnivore diet requires 4,000 gallons per day.
And here’s a pretty image: Animals raised for meat produce 89,000 pounds of excrement a second, causing enormous amounts of ground pollution. Chicken, hogs, and cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states.
End Animal Suffering At Factory Farms
In addition to the environmental impact of giving up meat, ending the slaughter of innocent animals bred and killed for their flesh would end immeasurable cruelty. The animals raised for food suffer and die in horrific ways at factory farms, large, industrial operations that raise massive numbers of animals for food. Over 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms; profit and efficiency are their main objective and animal welfare is not of interest to them. The animals are in cramped cages, often too small to even turn around in. Slaughtering methods are unthinkably cruel, and the a surge of undercover investigations by animal advocacy groups are rendering more and more people unable to consume meat again.
New vegan options are popping up everywhere: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Girl Scout cookies, in supermarkets, online and in regular restaurants and vegan restaurants. As being vegan becomes easier and convenient, we will save the environment and end animal abuse and suffering in factory farms. And as a bonus, we’ll all be wonderful specimens of health!