Why It Matters

Our Bodies, Planet and Communities.

Imagine that every time you took a bite of food, you nourished your body, did something beneficial for the planet, and were taking care of your community — all at the same time. In fact, imagine that by taking charge of the food you enjoy, you’re empowering yourself in every possible way.

That’s what eating more plants and less meat and dairy is all about. You’re saying “No thank you” to industrial agriculture being imposed on communities and people, with no care for their well-being. You are saying “Not today” to participation in a food system that clearcuts ancient forests, poisons water tables and oceans, and threatened species. You are saying, “I’m not here for this” to corporate farming practices that contribute to an epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, cancers, and a host of other ills.

Learn more about Why it Matters:

For Health.

“There are variations on the theme of the optimal diet for human health, and all of them are made up mostly of wholesome plant-based foods,” says Dr. David Katz from the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. He joins a host of leading doctors, nutritionists and research extolling the health benefits of eating a diet of mainly vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and grains.

Not only does eating more plant-based improve your health, but it’s your best defense against illness. Studies have found that those eating a vegetarian or vegan diet reduce their risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancers and obesity. To learn more about the impacts meat and dairy has on our bodies and the perks of plant-based foods, visit our Health page.

Heart Scan
Feet On Scale

For Our Planet.

It’s not a commonly known fact — but animal agriculture is the #1 leading driver of extinction on the planet.

What else is hidden behind the burgers and shakes on our plate? Unfortunately, a whole lot. The meat and dairy industries cause more greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation combined. And it’s also the main contributor to deforestation, water pollution and ocean dead zones.

It sounds grim, and yet we think there’s a hopeful opportunity at every meal. Together, we can co-create a world with clean air, cooler climate, safer drinking water, and protected habitats home to a beautiful spectrum of wildlife — from the deep Pacific to the wild Amazon — just by expanding access to plant-based foods. Fired up? Visit our Planet page to learn more.

For Communities.

Industrial meat and dairy affect our communities in damaging ways that are both visible and invisible — and it’s often communities of color and low-income people who suffer the most. We’re in the midst of a national public health crisis, with increasing rates of chronic illness related to diet, as families struggle in food deserts and food swamps. Additionally, the National School Lunch program, which feeds 30 million kids a year, does little to address the real nutritional needs of kids, but instead is influenced by heavy lobbying from the meat and dairy industries.

Industrialized animal agriculture also preys on people living in the shadows of factory farms, forever changing their quality of life, health and public spaces. In Iowa and North Carolina, for example, cesspools holding hog feces (called manure pits) offgas unhealthy and rank air, permeating neighborhoods and homes. The commercial farming operations also pollute nearby drinking water sources, fishing and swimming holes. Quality of life and health are dramatically diminished.

Thankfully, there are leaders changing the narrative. The crusade against food deserts is being fought in the form of community gardens, local organizations running accessible CSA programs and leading health equity programs — through the power of food education and access. There have also been wins on the ground as people fight back against corporate agriculture in impacted communities.

Community-led change can be a potent vehicle to increase access to better food. Plant-based eating for our health and planet will only be successful if it promotes and facilitates access for all people.