According to Strava, a social network for athletes, most annual commitments begin to crumble by the second Friday in January. For 2020, that’s January 10th.
Year after year, people commit to resolutions with the solemn vow that this year it will be different than in the past, but one more time, most people give up sooner than later.
Why is this? For one thing, when we set goals, if we don’t have a big enough why, it doesn’t take much to forget our reason for making the commitment in the first place.
Second, we are creatures of habit. Unless we put checks and balances in place to assure the change is going to stick, there are plenty of triggers that set us up for failure.
Whether it be the bag of cookies we forgot to toss, the soda that was tucked in the back of the refrigerator or the candy bar we were saving for the “just in case” scenario, changing how we view food is something most people have given little thought to.
With a greater focus on increased health of not just individuals but the health of the planet and compassion to animals, plant-based diets are becoming very popular and all the rage.
Yet, like anything, if you don’t have a strong enough why for switching to a plant-based diet, it’s likely you will revert to the Standard American Diet (SAD) sooner than you think.
What’s Your Why?
There are three primary reasons someone chooses to go plant-based including their health, compassion to animals and kindness to the planet.
With heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, some cancers and strokes on the rise, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots between what we consume and the demise of our health. According to authors Marc Gilinov and Steven Nissen in their book, Heart 411, in 1900, pneumonia was the leading cause of death in the United States, and the average life expectancy was only 47. Fast forward to 2020. The life expectancy is now 78.93, with heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death. Although we live longer, quality of life is questionable. Much of this is due to lifestyle choices, specifically with what we consume.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) “Every hour in the U.S., about 83 Americans die from heart disease and stroke. More than a quarter of these deaths could have been prevented or delayed with better control of key risk factors (below) and health-promoting behaviors, including physical activity, healthy diet and avoiding tobacco use.”
What used to be considered a healthy diet is now in question. With over 1/3 of adults in the United States obese, the number of deaths related to weight is staggering. Obesity costs the U.S. about $147 billion in medical expenses each year.
Many people are discovering the benefits of a plant-based diet in reversing not only their weight challenges, but many of the risks for common diseases that we have grown to accept as normal.
The fact is, being unhealthy is not normal. Yet, many people have resigned themselves to a life of disease and medications acting as if that is normal. Normal is us living healthy, vibrant lives. But normal is becoming very uncommon.
If you pay attention to the commercials that television viewers are subjected to night after night, on the one hand are fast food restaurant ads promoting the great flavor of a one pound bowl of processed mashed potatoes, corn and chicken bits, pizza with more cheese than ever, or a triple cheeseburger followed by a commercial for over the counter and prescription medication for heart burn, diabetes, stomach upset and indigestion.
It’s ludicrous. Common sense would dictate the need for change. Yet, it seems like common sense is a thing of the past with many people resigning themselves to a life of complacency, disease and depression.
We have been led to believe that we need animal protein in our diet to be healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
With a rise in antibiotic resistant health challenges, one of the biggest reasons for this is due to factory farming. Factory farming has created a domino effect that is almost irreversible when it comes to the amount of antibiotics humans consume as a result of the quantities of animal products they consume.
The USDA estimates that each American ate 222.2 pounds of meat and poultry per person in 2017. Heading into the new year, meat and poultry remain on the dinner table.
Even though more people are choosing veganism, vegetarianism and plant-based eating, those who consume meat seem to be consuming more individually.
Not only is this causing an increase in disease, over 200 million animals are killed for food around the world every day – just on land. That comes out to 72 billion land animals killed for food around the world every year. Including wild caught and farmed fishes, we get a daily total closer to 3 billion animals killed. (Source… Sentient Media)
The sad part is that these animals are bred specifically to be killed in order that humans can consume them. This is insanity at its worst.
We do NOT need animal protein. Yet, people are holding onto their “right” to eat animal products. What about the rights of the animals? What about the unnecessary suffering the animals go through simply to satisfy the supply and demand of men, women and children who are getting fatter and unhealthier by the minute.
When you consume animals who knew nothing but a life of suffering, fear and pain, do you consider that this is going into your system and psyche? It’s the domino effect of energy.
Anyone who denies we are in a climate change crisis is either not paying attention or is just downright ignorant. According to many climate experts, we have very little time left to turn things around. https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/6/13/18660548/climate-change-human-civilization-existential-risk
One of the loudest voices warning us of the truth of the matter is that of a teenager.
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has taken an arguably alarmist bent in her advocacy for climate solutions saying “Our house is on fire. I don’t want your hope. … I want you to panic.”
What started with her sitting alone with a simple sign to be a voice for climate change, is now a worldwide movement. Greta has gotten strong reactions from politicians. Some call her crazy, while others are paying attention in full support of her mission, message and movement.
Although people like Donald Trump and Meatloaf claim Greta is brainwashed and needs to manage her anger, others are paying attention to what this young woman has to say.
She is a voice of reason in a world that is collapsing from lack of reasonable choices.
Named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta has singlehandedly raised awareness more than just about anyone. She is a force to be reckoned with and one that will not be stopped.
The bottom line is this; we CANNOT keep going the way we have been with our food consumption. We are at a critical crossroad and must make choices that will have a positive impact on our health, the animals and the planet.
To believe otherwise is to believe in Santa Clause, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. The fantasy was fun while it lasted, but the reality is that we are in a crisis and need to each take responsibility for better, kinder and more ethical choices. Choices that impact not only us, but generations to come.
About Kathleen Gage
Specializing in working with businesses who believe a healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce, Kathleen discovered the life-changing power of plant-based eating in her sixties. Seeing what it did for her energy, focus, creativity and waistline, Kathleen loves working with those who are open to the possibility of what plant-based eating can do for them and their bottom-line (both the one they sit on and the one that reflects their revenues) Access her FREE ebook – Beginner’s Guide to Plant Based Eating at http://www.plantbasedeatingforhealth.com/guide and visit her plant based blog at http://www.plantbasedeatingforhealth.com Join the FB group Plant Based Eating for Health. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PlantBasedEatingforHealth/