Being Vegan – It Can Happen Just Like This
By Paul Graham
Las Vegas Informer
A few months back there was a report issued by The United Nations stating that it would seem to be imperative that most of the world’s population should switch to a plant-based diet by the year 2050 in order to ensure that there would be enough food and water on the planet for the increased population that will be present at that time. This was not put forth by a bunch of politicians and diplomats but a group of scientists, largely from the prestigious Stockholm International Water Institute. Even though it seems like we do not have enough food to feed everyone now, that simply isn’t true. We have enough food that is produced right now to feed everyone on the planet with a healthy, plant-based diet. Unfortunately, many of those water and food resources today are diverted into the meat and dairy industry around the world to feed livestock for eventual meat and dairy consumption and based on this present model, even now, there is not enough food and water left available for everyone and thousands die daily as a result.
If we continue with our present model, the impact on future generations will be devastating. I do not not believe that we need to, or should for that matter, wait until 2050 to see this take place. In fact, I can see a reality of a vegan world where a plant-based diet would be the norm and where we can accomplish this in less than 10 years time.
Tim Gier, in his blog On Nonhuman Slavery, outlined where we could see this done in as little as eight years with mostly just personal involvement required. Tim states a premise to begin with a conservative assertion that that one percent of the world’s population is now vegan. It is much higher than that in certain countries, like Australia for example, and the rate of people already switching to a plant-based diet is growing at almost an exponential rate. Tim believes we can continue to foster that growth and see the numbers continue to double each year. So even conservatively at one percent, that would give us 67 million vegans. That is pretty impressive by itself. But what if each one of those 67 million found just one person that they could lead over that bridge in the coming year and teach them to do the same the following year and continue this kind of growth and nurturing of one another for the next seven years after that?
A little simple math would tell you that 67 million could turn into 134 million; to 268 million; to over a half a billion; to a billion; to two billion; to four billion; and then finally, eight billion people. All by one person taking a family member, friend, neighbor, church member or co-worker on a little journey to a lifestyle of conscious eating and living and then continuing to walk that path with them and help them to duplicate themselves in someone else. And why wouldn’t we want to do this when by that personal decision alone we can see the lives of hundreds animals spared, our health improve, the environment helped, and our own spirits strengthened, cleansed and refreshed. The longer I am a vegan, the more I am convinced that this is an answer to so many problems that the world is facing today. It can not only solve the problem of not enough food and water for the planet’s population, but will release love, kindness, compassion, healing and peace into a world that is so desperate for it. We will see social justice come for animals, an area that so many have turned a blind eye to for centuries, and one that both we and the animals are paying a horrific price for. We will see an end to deforestation and a great reduction in water, ground and air pollution. We can see healing come to a planet that is hurting on so many levels.
The signs of a shift taking place are all around us. We are seeing consumption of meat and dairy products going down steadily year after year. More and more people are embracing a vegan diet and lifestyle for ethical, health, environmental and spiritual reasons. It is entering into the mainstream all around us. It is in the news all around us and people are starting to make the connection. Some people ask what will happen to all of the jobs that will be impacted with this kind of shift to a plant-based diet and the industries that would be affected? New industries will spring forth and energies and resources shifted. Some of the land that has been used by meat and dairy farming can be turned into other kinds of farming to help with the increased demand for plant-based foods. Some of those areas can be developed into solar and wind farms to help us even further to decrease our environmental impact and rely more upon the natural and sustainable resources that have been given to us. This type of shift will have an impact on almost every area of our lives. No one is looking to get rich off of any of this…the motivation is just to do what is right for animals, our own lives and the planet. We need to die to some of the ideas that have long prevailed and evolve as humans to a higher way of living. No one is being asked to join a cult, a church, a club or an organization. You are being asked to consider joining a movement that is going to change everything. We cross that bridge first, then we build one to someone else and so on and so on. I am more than ready if you are…let’s do this.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blog www.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas. He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.
Paul’s upcoming book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas” will be published by Sullivan Street Press and for more information please go to www.sullivanstpress.com.