Cooler Planet, Hotter Sex | Part 2

Sex “sells,” so I made it the focus of Part 1. But improved sexual performance later in life may not motivate everyone. Therefore, I’d like to shift the focus of plant-based nutrition for a healthier planet.

Did you know that swapping beef for beans would significantly help the US reach its greenhouse gas emission goals? A report published in Climate Change, by a team of researchers from four American universities, suggests that our targets could be achieved by 2020. They simulated net emissions of legume production, and subtracted those from average beef production rates. Based on the results, legume substitution could account for 50 to 75% of the required reductions. 42% less cropland would be needed as well.

Have you ever taken a shorter shower to save water? Or started turning off the faucet while you brush? Me too…until I watched Cowspiracy on Netflix. (Fun Fact: I went plant-based the very next day.) Such life style changes are paltry compared to what’s on your plate. Let’s look at beef since most Americans love a good burger. It’s estimated that 660 gallons of water are used to produce a 1/4 pound burger. That’s equivalent to 2 months of showering daily for 4-minutes with a 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute) shower head. Screw the shorter shower, Bohemian Rhapsody is 5 minutes and 57 seconds, and I want to sing the whole song!

Take a second and mentally envision the lungs of the planet... What comes to mind? Trees in the rainforest…how about coral in the reefs? Both provide almost all of the oxygen, and both are in critical condition. Rainforests produce roughly 30% of the Earth’s oxygen. Every second a football field of the rainforest is destroyed for animal agriculture. About 70% of oxygen comes from marine plants (phytoplankton, kelp, and algal plankton). Scientists believe that levels have declined by 40% since 1950 due to warming of the ocean. We can’t live, if we can’t breath.

Whether you care about these issues or not, they will negatively affect all of us; especially future generations. If we fail to proactively participate in protecting the environment, then we fail as civilized society. And I realize that it’s difficult to accept food as the culprit. Food is personal. It’s tradition. It’s family. It’s love… But it’s also the main reason for making our planet uninhabitable. And for that reason alone, we should all remove animal products from our diet.

I’m confident Einstein would have said, “plant-based” if he had access to today’s science.