How to define what is extreme

I moved to Austin, Texas in March of 2016. At that time, I began transitioning to a more vegetarian lifestyle. More specifically, I contentiously eliminated meat choices more and more. That transition led to another transition, one where I maintained a mostly vegan household. Some people may consider a plant-based diet extreme. And when we become accustom to the Standard American Diet, any deviation appears devastating. Where do you get protein?How can you go throughout your days without cheese? What if you want that one slice of bacon? The answers to these questions are proposed eloquently and succinctly in this TED talk by Rip Esselstyn. My personal answer to those questions is this: Make choices one at a time.

Let’s say we make two choices for breakfast, three for lunch, and three for dinner. That is 56 opportunities. Each opportunity is a chance to improve your health, to purchase from a local business, and to impact the environment. I prefer to spend my dollar on organic produce from a local grocer co-op than at a chain pharmacy on Tums, or worse on cholesterol or hypertension medication. Despite these points, a plant-based diet may still appear extreme. When I think about the extremes in my life, I view the most significant and stark to be climate change. There are more ways than one to damper the effects climate change will have. I have opened my eyes to finding ways to improve the planet while simultaneously improving my life and others’ lives. After beginning this search to improve the world through eating plants, other solutions arise with increased frequency:

Project Drawdown elaborates on the 100 most impactful ways to reverse global warming. While watching Bill Nye Saves the World, I was impressed with his panelist Mark Jacobson. Jacobson “ developed roadmaps to transition states and countries to 100% clean, renewable energy for all purposes”. How can we convince citizens of the world the urgency that is upon us? Even Steven Hawking will discuss this summer how our earth may not be inhabitable for our species in the next 100 years.

In the meantime, the plant-based journey continues! Even better, the platforms like Forks over Knives, How Not To Die, and the Engine 2 Rescue Diet, elevate our plant-based efforts.

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