Today is Earth Day: an awareness day that aims to draw our attention to the damage we are doing to the Earth and point to solutions as to how we can all do our bit for our beautiful planet. The environmental problems of the world are many and complex, from pollution to biodiversity loss, leaving us as individuals wondering how one person could possibly make a difference. The good news: there is a really simple way to help save the planet. We just need to change the way we eat!
This year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Pollution. Over 50% of plastic is used once and then thrown away, with eight million tonnes being dumped into our oceans every year. Our oceans and their inhabitants are being choked and destroyed by islands of plastic pollution - it is thought that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish...
Here's the thing though: did you know that the destruction of our underwater ecosystems is mainly a result of something else that humans do? You know it: overfishing. We've been ravaging the oceans for decades, pulling out more aquatic life than the ocean ecosystems can regenerate, and destroying countless other, non-target animals such as turtles, sharks, whales, sea horses as "by-catch".
It's all a bit overwhelming, but there's a very simple solution to this giant problem: opt out of eating aquatic animals, and try plant-based alternatives instead! Take this day as an opportunity to try something new, for a good cause.
Vegan diets have a much lighter footprint on the Earth. They use a quarter of the land, a fraction of the water and produce far less greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Not only that, but plant-based diets have huge benefits for our health as well as our planet’s, and are shown to prevent and even reverse disease. It’s a win-win situation and with the boom in the availability of delicious plant-based products, it has never been easier to make the switch.
In June 2018 we will officially join ProVeg International and become ProVeg South Africa. ProVeg, which was born out of VEBU (Vegetarierbund Deutschland), has almost 150 years of experience in the vegan food awareness and advocacy space, and is expanding globally with chapters in Germany, the UK, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands, and more to expansions underway.
The ProVeg vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. Their mission is to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. Many of the world’s most urgent problems share a common cause: our food choices. ProVeg International is the first internationally recognised organisation that is dedicated to raising awareness of how we can tackle these problems through diet: so that our food choices can become a multi-problem solution.