The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a highly respected nonprofit health-advocacy organization, is one of the many voices in the scientific community that advocates a plant-based diet. Its groundbreaking book Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-Based Diet Could Save Your Health and the Environment is an extensively researched and fully cited report that examines the human health, environmental, and animal welfare consequences of our dietary choices.
While CSPI is not strictly a vegetarian group or an animal-advocacy organization, it recognizes that the more that we shift to a plant-based diet and away from animal products, the more we benefit our health, the Earth, and animals.
The following are just a few of the eye-opening facts from this book:
- “The saturated fat and cholesterol in beef, pork, dairy “products,” poultry, and eggs cause about 63,000 fatal heart attacks annually.”
- “Vegetarians enjoy lower levels of blood cholesterol, less obesity, less hypertension, and fewer other problems than people whose diet includes meat.”
- If everyone in the United States switched to a vegetarian diet, the country would save up to $84 billion in health-care costs because of the reduced need for coronary bypass operations, statin heart—disease drugs, and treatments for high blood pressure, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- Eating animals wastes an enormous amount of water and other resources compared to eating plant-based foods. Animal agriculture uses about 1 trillion gallons of water every year, more than twice as much as all the people in the New York metropolitan area combined use in a year.
- In a section titled “‘Bycatch’: Bye Animals,” CSPI reveals the hidden impact that raising animals for food has on other animals who are not used directly. These victims include the hundreds of millions of “commercially useless” fish, turtles, and other sea animals who are unintentionally caught each year and discarded—dead or dying—by the fishing industry; wild animals who are poisoned by the pesticides applied to the enormous amounts of crops that are needed to feed farmed animals; and the millions of male chicks whom the egg industry literally shreds at birth because they are considered economically worthless.
“If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”
—Sir Paul McCartney
CSPI’s book demonstrates the urgent need to significantly reduce the amount of meat, eggs, and dairy “products” that we consume. Click here to read more about the book or to order a copy.