In her video Vegans on Top (13:07 min), Ori Shavit describes how you can significantly improve the world with the personal choices you make regarding the food you eat.
Before she became vegan, the former restaurant and bar critic from Israel could not imagine any connection between her personal consumption and the world food supply or our climate.
But now the journalist and animal rights lawyer has “put the world on her plate.” Since she decided to eat a vegan diet, she has not only improved her health, but also saves lives and helps protect the environment.
The vast majority of people do not think about where their daily food comes from. That’s understandable because eating is simply a part of our habits. The awareness that what the majority of people eat is neither natural nor environmentally friendly has only slowly developed over the last few generations.
Lifestyle diseases, environmental problems, and a love of animals are now causing some people to think and rethink their habits. It was only at about the turn of the millennium that this new awareness began to emerge. And Ori Shavit was clearly part of this movement.
Our comments: To be healthy, it has become increasingly important to know what ingredients are in the food we eat and to understand how these align with what our body actually needs. The reason we have food that makes us sick can be found in our prosperity and the availability of industrial products, where the only thing that really counts is how much money they put into the pockets of the production companies. Our book review of “Salt Sugar Fat” shows how the food industry designs its products in such a way that we always want to have more.
04:23 Who knows the cost of an egg?
The audience’s answers to this question are understandable, but don’t answer the question Ori Shavit really asked. She quickly clears up the misunderstanding and explains that she is not asking about monetary costs, but about the real cost that chickens and the environment have to pay every day. In the small country of Israel alone, the food industry kills 15'000 male chicks every day just because they can’t lay eggs and because breeding is based on the number of eggs and not meat. And two years later, their sisters are killed because they are no longer laying enough eggs. About 9 million chickens are killed in Israel every year. We should consider this “cost,” quite apart from the fact that in the long term eating an egg every day is quite unhealthy.
Even in dairy farming — an industry dominated by certain companies — it is common practice to exploit cows and breed them to produce the highest milk yield possible, down to the last drop of milk.
Our comments: The cows are constantly impregnated so that they can give milk and are slaughtered after just a few years when they start to produce less. The meat industry then processes the cows into meat and sausage products. What we don’t eat in the industrialized countries is sent with high subsidies from our taxpayers’ money to developing countries, where farmers then lose their sales and their livelihoods. Please consider the lack of alternatives the people there have (e.g., in Africa)? This overall problem of the poor diet we tend to have has caused us to speak of the “deadly mainstream.”
7:00 What’s in it for you to save animal lives?
Some of the leading health and nutrition organizations have already confirmed that eating a well-planned plant-based diet can greatly reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and kidney diseases.
It's a cycle: when you stop hurting others, you get the huge bonus of no longer hurting yourself. And the environment also profits. It is clear that you cannot be an environmentalist while eating meat. It would be a contradiction in terms because meat requires several times more natural resources than plant-based foods and the animals raised cause a large increase in CO2 and methane gas, which strongly promotes global warming.
8:23 The livestock industry pollutes the air more than all the vehicles in the world together.
And not only that, the meat industry also uses an enormous amount of water. Compared to meat eaters, a single vegan saves 5 million liters of water each year.
High consumption is also visible in agricultural. The livestock industry uses 70 % of agricultural lands to feed 60 billion land animals that humanity eats every year. If we would take these lands and use them to grow food for people, we could end world hunger. Conscious eating saves lives!
9:50 To document her personal journey to becoming vegan, Ori Shavit started a food blog called Vegans on Top. Her blog set off a chain reaction in Israel. First, her chef friends had to cook for her. Then they had some tasty vegan meals at some of the best restaurants in Israel. Then hundreds of hundreds of other people, vegan, food-loving people also went to eat there.
And now there is a growing, vivid involved community of people who want to make a change through their choice of food. But this is still a small minority.
12:20 By simply making a conscious choice of what we eat, we can have the most direct impact on the world we live in.
In the twenty-first century, we have become CHOOSE-IVORES. We are the only living beings who can and do choose what to eat, when to eat, and whether to eat. So the next time you go to the grocery store or a restaurant, think about what you choose to eat and how this can make a positive change to the world.