Today’s Solutions: October 16, 2021

What is our most powerful tool for protecting biodiversity? A new report by the Chatham House, backed by the UN, indicates that widespread adoption of plant-based diets is one of the most crucial ways to protect endangered species. 

Plant-based diets are environmentally beneficial because they have a lower carbon footprint and are less water-intensive, but they also help conserve precious wildlands for the species that rely on them. More than 80 percent of global farmland is used to raise animals, yet meat provides only 18 percent of calories eaten. Farming plants, especially regenerative farming, takes less space and resources, so a shift to a primarily plant-based diet would free up this land used for raising animals to be restored to support natural ecosystems. 

The impact of this shift is even more stunning when we look at tangible product switches. For example, if consumers in the US switched from beef to beans, it would free up 42 percent of US agricultural land for restoration or regenerative farming initiatives. This change would offer a more feasible way to feed a growing population not supported by our current agricultural systems. 

Switching to plant-based diets alone won’t perfect our food systems, although it would be a big step in the right direction. The perpetual quest to make food less expensive also encourages damaging practices like clear-cutting, overfertilization, and reduced crop diversity. As we transition to plant-based diets, we also must ensure that our agricultural systems implement sustainable practices like crop diversity, water conservation, and crop rotation. 

Fortunately, it’s never been easier to switch to a plant-based diet and ensure you’re still getting all the necessary nutrients. Alternative meats, vegan restaurants, nutritional resources, and growing popularity has made it easier than ever to ditch meat from your meals. And you’ll feel good knowing you’re helping protect biodiversity while you’re at it.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This therapeutic plant could help reduce morphine tolerance and opiate addiction

Opioid overdoses are on the rise in the US and around the world, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Addiction treatment, harm reduction, and improved health access are all effective strategies for addressing ... Read More

New treatment kills cancer cells in terminally ill patients

There are about 12,200 new head and neck cancer cases in the UK every year, and many of these patients are diagnosed at advanced stages when the disease is very difficult to treat. The standard ... Read More

6 Ways we can help our dogs live long and healthy lives

Research has shown that having a dog can help boost our physical and mental health as well as make us feel younger. Pets are an enormous source of joy and comfort, and as dog parents, ... Read More

Grauer’s gorilla population makes surprising comeback in DRC

A recent study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has good news for gorillas. The study found that the number of Grauer’s gorillas, the world’s largest gorilla subspecies, has increased from 6,800 compared to ... Read More

New Zealand opens unusual vaccination destination for the weekend

New Zealand is getting an unconventional Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the form of a Boeing 787 plane. The winged vaccination site is being operated by Air New Zealand this weekend as part of the government’s ... Read More