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Explore a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Caring for our environment is a big issue that requires big solutions—but it also requires many smaller ones we can adopt on a daily basis. As we figure out what we can do individually and as a community to help, we want to educate you about some ways that you can help contribute to not only the planet, but also your own life.

Why Choose a Plant-Based Diet?

Switching to a diet based on plants in minimally processed forms is the single most impactful personal change you can make to decrease your environmental footprint. Eating a whole–food, plant-based diet provides all the following benefits:

Benefits to Your Health

  • Improve the health of your gut so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • Help prevent or reverse heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, and lower your risk of certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Limit your exposure to high levels of toxins found in most animal products.

Benefits to Human and Animal Welfare

  • Stop supporting an industrial meat production system that exploits workers and is especially dangerous for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reduce cruel animal-farming practices.

Benefits to the Environment, Animal Species, and Climate Well-Being

  • Slow climate warming by decreasing emissions from livestock farming.
  • Save rainforests and the wild animal species critically endangered by clearing forests for industrial animal agriculture.
  • Reduce the quantity of food wasted in processing and packaging by choosing whole foods.

Changing your eating habits by replacing animal products with whole-plant foods can achieve all these benefits–to your health, to farm workers, to animal welfare and species survival, and to the health of the planet.

Take The Challenge!

We understand. For many in our community, the unprecedented current crisis is challenging enough. However, if you’re up for it, our “challenge” is to explore for yourself the myriad benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. We’re convinced that once you’re armed with this knowledge, personal changes will follow when the time is right for you.

So, this month, here are some suggestions to educate yourself:

Watch

Forks over Knives Documentary

The Game Changers

Read

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook by Matt Frazier

Eat

Substitute vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains for animal products at one or more meals a week. If you use animal products, reduce the quantity, and fill in with more plant-based dishes. Experiment with new options and plant-based recipes.

Information provided on this page is from IKAR, a spiritual community in Los Angeles.

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