Going vegan for the planet?  Consider this first….

I did write about this last year when it really hit the press about going vegan for the good of the planet and how it will help reduce climate change, but the more I hear about this, the more I don’t agree with it.  (If you want to read it, this is the link)

I am always learning when out and about walking to my workspace to do computer work, or to my clinics and meetings as I listen to health podcasts.  This helps me to keep up to date with my clinic and to also keep my brain engaged and interested.  Dr Hyman has an amazing podcast called the Food Farmacy and he has interesting and hugely knowledgeable guests on talking about the environment, food, our health and how they are all interlinked. 

Last year when looking into all the vegan ‘meat’ options and commercialized snacks and treats I began to get worried about the impact on our health.  So many of the vegan options are very low if not void in nutrition. I’m not saying you can’t have a ‘naughty’ meal every now and again, but when you eat them thinking they are good for you causes, well, rage in me! I’m also not saying that you can’t eat a healthy vegan meal, you absolutely can!  It’s all about knowing what choices to make, which as always, can be complicated and confusing due to mixed messages in the media and clever marketing from food manufacturers.

What I have been learning about recently is how important animals are to the planet and that by farming cattle responsibly we can actually reverse climate change!  There used to be around 60 MILLION cattle in American and NO global warming because they were allowed to graze on what they should be eating, migrate and churn up the earth with their feet.  They also urinated and defecated on the soil which kept it healthy and alive. Healthy and alive soil can absorb greenhouse gases and turn them into something good. Most of our soil is dead from intensive farming and the use of pesticides and fungicides. By regenerating the dead soil into living soil would have the most enormous positive impact on the earth and reducing global warming.  If we don’t have animals on the soil we are in big trouble.

I also found out why intensively farmed cattle produce so much methane. It’s because they are fed grains which they don’t actually like – they like grass.  But it’s much cheaper to feed them grains.  So the grains are fermented and covered in a sweet syrup so the cows will eat it, which makes them fart. If the cows were able to eat what they naturally want to they wouldn’t fart so much! 

This is why I am so passionate about people buying organic when they can, or grass-fed, or traditionally farmed food.  I also understand it’s more expensive, but it would be much better to eat organic or grass-fed meat once a week rather than intensively farmed meat every day.  This will also naturally make you eat more plants to fill your plate up!  I know it might seem that this change done individually will make no difference whatsoever, but just think of the impact if we all did it. Also, the more we buy organic or traditionally farmed food, the more we demand it, the cheaper it will get as it will become the norm. 

I hope this isn’t too preachy, I know we all do the best we can.  But no one seems to know about the above, the only message that gets through is go vegan. Which is also bad for your health if you don’t know the right things to eat and to supplement properly so you don’t get deficient in essential nutrients.  As always, if you need some help with your diet get in touch, and I promise I won’t be judgmental or preachy, even if you are vegan! 

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