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Are plant-based diets the future?

Dear Editor:

These are changing times, if you look around you will see plant-based products in every grocery store and fast food chains offering products like the Impossible Burger and Subway’s Beyond Meat. Even in small towns like Gas City, there are business owners that see the importance of plant-based options. This movement is consumer-driven, and people are demanding products that are cruelty-free and better for one’s health and the environment.

The recent Netflix documentary, “The Game Changers,” details the misconception that one can only get protein and other essential nutrients from animal flesh. The Youtube documentary, “Dominion” shows the reality of animal agriculture, and “Best speech you will ever hear” is capable of inspiring anyone to move towards this lifestyle. All these changes are occurring because of the publics’ growing awareness.

A plant-based diet is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the planet; reducing animal consumption lessens deforestation, conserves water and grain, and produces less methane gas.

Our choice of diet is also a humanitarian issue: 82 percent of starving children live in countries where food is grown to feed to animals for Western consumption.

With concern to global health, the benefits are enormous. It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian and vegan diets are nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle.

Plant-based diets are more sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. It’s as easy as reaching for the plant-based item at the grocery versus the animal product you are accustomed to using. Why not choose the compassionate, healthier choice? For help transitioning to a plant-based diet, visit challenge22.com.

Sincerely,

Sevgi Diedrich,

LaFontaine