The ultimate goal is not that we will live forever but to try & remain healthy for as long as we do live. Unfortunately, people are getting chronic diseases far younger than previously, some starting as young as 30-40s and this can often mean spending over half their lives dependent on medications & doctors. The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner looked at communities with the most number of individuals who lived till 100 years old. The common theme amongst the 7 regions was a predominately plant based diet, consisting mostly of carbohydrates & a sense of belonging in their old age within the community.
At Pranaa we believe a diet which eliminates the consumption of animal products, highly processed food & excessive intake of any kind of sugar, salt & fat will have the longest lasting impact to all individual’s well-being.
When we are younger we often depend on our metabolism & physical activity to maintain our weight and this makes us ignore any impact or damage we are doing internally to our bodies. As we get older it is important to realize how the focus should be shifted towards the food we consume as we may no longer be as physically active due to time constraints or other physical restrictions.
In a stable food chain, there needs to be an abundance of Primary Producers (Plants), Primary Consumers (Farm Animals) & lower numbers of Secondary Consumers (Humans). This is just the natural course of energy transfer across every single energy pyramid. The average energy transfer across trophic levels is only 1% and I think everyone can relate that 1 chicken to sustain 1 human life is not something that would function & very quickly that food chain would collapse.
So, can we imagine how many farm animals we would need to produce annually to feed 9 billion human meat eaters? Unfortunately, I do not have this data but I expect those numbers to reach trillions. Those trillions of animals need to feed on plants & crops because they are all vegetarian. So, how much water & land area do we need to keep this food chain & structure going? Could we not put these resources to better use, to solve other world issues such as global hunger in areas of extreme poverty?
Reducing the amount of animal consumption within our diet may be the single most energy efficient change we can make in our daily lives to reduce our carbon footprint.
The moment farm animals became a big part of our food culture; they became a commodity & there were no longer any animal ethics associated to the business practices. Everything is now only based on costs and efficiency.
Baby male chicks are not useful in farming because they do not produce large chicken breasts for consumption & do not provide any eggs to continue the growth. Every single male chick is sent through an incinerator, basically a large-scale blender where they are killed at birth.
How do we produce milk? We impregnate cows repeatedly again and again far beyond what would be the case in a normal life cycle of the animal & milk them dry for our own benefit. Upon birth of their child, the babies are taken away either to become veal or to be used as future mothers to produce milk. The mother cows cry for their children for weeks, sometimes months, but they never come back. There are many other examples of inhumane treatment of animals for our own benefits, the way geese are forcefully overfed to produce a fatty liver. Everyone has their own moral principles & beliefs but for many this may be one key factor to reducing their animal consumption!
All living things have a life cycle & will ultimately pass one day, but we do have our own human emotions and ethics to decide where we draw the line between what is an acceptable business practice & what is not. The choices we make every day have an impact on the performances of the businesses that we fund, so the choice where you spend your money on food can make a difference!