Why a plant-based diet is a good idea

Koen van Gilst

Koen van Gilst / February 21, 2023

2 min read––– views

A plant leaf surrounded by a circle of animals and dairy products

Over the last couple of years, I've become more conscious of my diet and how it's affecting the world around us. I’ve come to realize that it’s not just meat that’s a problem, but dairy as well. The book Regenesis by George Monbiot has played an important role in that.

Some key arguments for a more plant-based diet have been:

  1. Eating animals is a highly inefficient way to produce food. We’re currently feeding our cows and pigs the grain and maize that many people around the world can no longer afford due to the global food crisis.
  2. Livestock is polluting our environment. It emits many times more greenhouse gases than food grown as crops. The manure produced by the millions of livestock animals is destroying our ecology and polluting our water.
  3. Intensive livestock farming is cruel and immoral. Cows, pigs and chickens are being held in the most terrible of circumstances.
  4. Livestock farming is a dangerous source of new pandemics, so-called zoonosis: infectious diseases that jump from animals to humans. Examples of these are ebola, salmonella, Spanish flu, swine flu and Covid-19.

I’m constantly re-adjusting my view on this and I’m open to new insights[^1] so feel free to reach out to me if you have any other insights or recommendations.

[^1]: In an earlier version I also had "5. Eating animals and dairy is unhealthy." But I’m not 100% convinced of that anymore. It's not that a plant-based diet is unhealthy or missing something, but as long as you're not eating too many animal products, many health organizations agree that eating meat is an efficient way of getting all nutrients our body needs. This is also part of the reason I'm still eating fish once a week.