November is vegan month. There are many reasons why people choose to maintain a vegan diet. The obvious reason is to avoid killing another being for consumption when there are alternatives. Another is to eat a healthy low fat diet and avoiding the health risks associated with ingesting too much meat. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, legumes and fruit is beneficial to longevity. Shopping for a vegan diet is also cheaper. These reasons focus on the individual and their health, finances or values.
There is a bigger picture associated with eliminating meat and dairy from a diet: eating a vegan diet can help our planet. Even cutting down on meat and dairy consumption, people will lessen the harmful impact livestock production has on our environment.
Studies show, the consumption of meat has increased human being’s carbon footprint on Earth. Livestock eat grain which causes them to secrete methane into the atmosphere. The grain grown to feed these animals needs plenty of fertilizer. The fertilizer turns into nitrous oxide which is poisoning our water supply. Because we need so many fields of grain to accommodate our livestock, we have fewer forests. Forests are necessary to provide oxygen and keep our air clean. Here is a video with more information on the subject:
Of course, some people are still going to want to eat some meat. However, by cutting down and substituting a few vegan meals per week, we as individuals, can help the health of our planet. Furthermore, meat lovers will be surprised to find how easy it is to substitute vegan meals for the meaty alternatives. Here is a substitution for a meat filled chili.
Hearty black bean and vegetable soup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stocks celery, chopped (with leaves)
1 carrot, chopped
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
½2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp cumen
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
Pour olive oil into a sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrot, celery and garlic for five minutes (until onions are clear and soft). Add the beans and tomatoes and mix. Add the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Let this simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy.