Plant-based eating is a diet comprised of eating plant-based products. A plant-based diet is beneficial for both your health and our planet. It’s also one of the most effective ways to combat climate change.
It is a way of eating that focuses on lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It can also include beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products. You can eat any meat or fish on a plant-based diet. You have to cut out all meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
Plant-based diets are on the rise. For some, they’re the vegan and vegetarian diets that you’d expect, but many people are going plant-based for reasons other than animal rights. We’re also getting more and more evidence on how healthy plant-based diets are. The diets are often high in nutrients and low in fat.
This week’s post will compare vegan and vegetarian diets and talk about the significant points of difference between them. I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I eat lots of plant-based foods. Hopefully, this will put things into perspective. The main area of difference is the types of foods you eat. Vegan and vegetarian diets are comprised of plant-based foods.
The main differences between vegan and vegetarian diets are how much you eat and the type of meat you eat. They also have slight differences in how they prepare things.
The vegetarian diet is primarily plant-based, but you will eat meat and animal products when consumption is acceptable.
“Beans, seeds, nuts, fish, honey, and grape juice are among the most consumed animal products found in plant-based diets.” I’d expect most people would prefer to eat a primarily plant-based diet. However, if you were eating primarily pulses, nuts, and seeds, a largely vegetarian diet would be just as good. But I think the meals I discussed in the other section are better suited for a primarily vegetarian diet.
While you can certainly eat mostly livestock products as a vegetarian, they are not usually as healthy as other plant-based meals.
“Veal, chicken, and pigs are heavy contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. However, different types and quantities of animal products can still be healthy for a vegetarian diet. Indeed, most nutritional analyses have found nutritional value in plant-based foods.”
The environmental impact of eating meat is a legitimate debate. I don’t think it’s worth having this argument. I find the “debate” a bit silly. There aren’t many debates that are worth having anymore, right?
Most realistic estimates show that livestock raises around 70% of all water use and uses 70% of all fossil fuel usage for just producing meat. Additionally, very little of the water we use goes to feed those animals, and a lot of the water pollution impacts not even the animals.
It’s not that difficult to figure out that if you consume cattle, you can get much more benefit from eating soy-based foods, and livestock is one primary reason that’s not an option for most of us.
Ecosystems worldwide are thriving, and consumers are making energy-dense choices. Sales of plant-based energy drinks increased 5x between 2006–15.
This article will discuss:
Why You Should Go Vegetarian or Opt for a Plant-Based Diet
What is the best way to go vegetarian? Is it a tough decision? Where do you start? How do I go vegetarian or vegan?
Most vegetarians eat a plant-based diet — either vegan or vegetarian. Vegans or vegetarians avoid eating animals whose lives were not meant to be on this planet.
It’s possible to go vegetarian or vegan without going completely cold turkey. It is more likely you will go vegan if you already are accustomed to a meaty diet or if your diet includes eggs and dairy products. The percentage of vegans/vegetarians in the US is currently around 60%.
Critics of going vegetarian often say animals shouldn’t fit into the same category as humans. While this advocate for people to stop eating humans, it’s a valid argument when our diet negatively impacts animals. When it comes to plant-based diets, animals feel pain just like we do. If we didn’t eat them, they would go extinct, just like we do if we stopped hunting and eating them.
Many vegetarians avoid using products from animals that live on the planet. It’s often in their commercial products or as an ingredient. For example, if a person used non-organic soy milk to replace cow’s milk, that’s what they’d be consuming. This causes a lot of environmental pollution and is harmful to the animals. We need to think proactively about what we eat.
Fact: Animals expend double the energy to produce a single calorie as we do.
We don’t need to rely on killing animals for our meal planning. Instead, we can calculate the energy required to create a calorie from plants. A calorie is the total amount of calories you burn through physical activity and any nutrients. You need one calorie of calories for your body to break the fuel glycogen (the sugar stored in your muscles) and hand it over to your tissues for use. No matter what your diet, it takes calories to digest something. Animals require many times more energy to create a single calorie than we do.
Energy from plant sources is mainly lost during the digestion process, and usually, there are worse problems to address first. Energy from a plant is not a waste, but we often overestimate our calorie intake by focusing on the number of calories. With each calorie consumed, we overestimate how many calories we’ll burn.
However, it’s a fallacy that eating more plants means eating less meat. In some cases, vegetarianism can be unhealthy. Another problem is that plant-based diets ignore the health impact of animal products. Wells ranches and ranches where they slaughter animals for food have more antibiotics and hormones. They also tend to have higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions. So, a natural plant-based diet should be full of fruits and vegetables. An animal-free or vegan diet excludes these foods.
It then follows that buying groceries from farmers’ markets, where they obtain numerous farms, is often full of ingredients from multiple different farms. You can’t be a true plant-based eater if you’re buying their groceries.
The argument that plants can’t be used and grown like animal products isn’t a new one. How many times have you heard somebody tell you that you can grow lettuce or spinach on your roof? There is no substitute for animals for the production of fruits and vegetables.
It’s also not true that eating more plants will make you healthier. One review of 16 different diets found that people on these diets all ended up with higher rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease compared to people on omnivorous diets.
Protein plays a huge role in our diets. Yet, plant-based eating focuses on fewer protein sources. Eliminate all animal products, including red meat, chicken, and eggs. It might seem like you need to be a vegan or vegetarian to consume enough protein, but that isn’t true.
There’s also another problem with a plant-based diet being a great way to combat climate change. Fossil fuels aren’t sustainable. It takes a lot of energy to extract raw materials like crude oil or fossil fuels. Going plant-based solves one problem, but radiating more energy into the air isn’t sustainable.
Even though the rate at which we’re extracting fossil fuels decreases as we’re moving away from them, we’re still using fossil fuels to do heavy manufacturing. Amen. Many of the energy we’re using now comes from fossil fuels before it even gets to your kitchen.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use alternatives, but that going plant-based doesn’t negate all the negatives of consuming fossil fuels. Hopefully, you’re aware of how reliant our lifestyles have become on fossil fuels and will soon learn how to make a sustainable switch, but it’s still not a replacement for them.
When I was growing up, meat was all around me. On my meals. In my fridge. On my plates. It seemed that everything was delicious. And yet, I often felt guilty about eating meat.