Happy Earth Life! Because being Vegan means I’m Helping the Planet my Entire LIFE, Not Just One Day

Did you plant a tree today? Maybe get a butterfly painted on your child’s face? Go to an earth day festival and buy a bag of herbal tea? Or a tie-dyed “Save the Earth” t-shirt? Groovy.

Well, I hate to be a “Debbie Downer” and repeat what many of you already know, but this message bears repeating. I’ll make it short and sweet.


Do you know how much of our natural resources go towards producing that unhealthy slab of carcass on a bun? It’s inexcusable and unacceptable, and if you’re not vegan, you’re responsible for it. And all the henna tattoos in the world won’t make your toll on this planet any lighter.


It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat and 660 gallons of water for the average hamburger. A vegan diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while a typical meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. Yep, 300 gallons vs. a whopping 4,000 gallons! Why does it take SO much water to produce “beef”? Because animals eat a lot! It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of “beef” and those grains take a lot of water to grow. Not to mention all the water that it takes to wash all that poop off.


Well, at least they try to get all the poop off. Mmmm… poop burgers! And people think tofu is gross?


We’ve lost 1/3 of our topsoil due to agriculture because it takes SO much to feed all of those animals. Why do we need topsoil? Because our crops can’t grow in a desert, that’s why. Crops need nutritious soil to flourish. I’d prefer to eat more than prickly cactus and agave, thank you.


Producing animal-based protein requires eight times more fossil-fuel energy than creating plant-based protein. Why? Think of all of the fuel that’s used to transport the live animals (and their carcasses), all the energy used to refrigerate their bodies, and how much energy it costs to run a factory farm. Oh, that’s right, you changed your lightbulbs to energy efficient ones. Hmmm… nice, but no soup for you! Better lightbulbs helps, but it’s just a drop in the bucket when you look at the big picture.


According to the UN, animal agriculture is a larger contributor to greenhouse gas than ALL forms of transportation. It’s no surprise.

Why? Because animals used for your “meat” produce 87,000 pounds of POOP per second. And I’m being nice using the word poop. It’s actually $%&# and there’s nothing cute about it.

Yep, 87,000 pounds of it EVERY second! That’s a lot of greenhouse gas. Boy, the food meat eaters consume sure makes a stinky mess. I can smell a factory farm from miles away, can’t you? If you’ve ever driven up the 5 through California, you know what I’m talking about.

700 million tons of human-grade food goes into animal agriculture each year and over 70% of the grain grown in the United States goes to animal agriculture. So if you don’t care about animals or the environment, can you at least care about your fellow human beings? Stop giving all of the food to the animals who are forced to live their entire lives in fear and pain – because of you – and start giving it to the people who are dying of starvation and make them happy!

Even in the United States, 1 in 5 children go to bed hungry every night. Does this matter to you? I know it matters to me!

earth day dietThe point is, every little bit we do to help our world is a wonderful step in the right direction. Every. Little. Bit. And I don’t think any of us will ever be perfect.

I have a car which uses energy, and of course it would be better if I could walk everywhere instead. My home is made from wood, which destroyed trees. I guess living in a cave would be kinder, but alas, I have no cave. We all try to do the best we can, and as we learn more, we strive to improve. But earth day, for me, is bittersweet. I’m a little sad to see everyone caring SO much for one day, and yet forgetting all that they could do the rest of the year.

It’s like an alcoholic who gives up drinking for 24 hours, but runs around the rest of the year with busted capillaries on his face, a flask in his hand and violent booze breath.


Please. Put down the bottle. Get sober. Go vegan and make a BIG difference. The world will thank you, and your body will too!

And now, I’m off to go speak at an Earth Day Festival! Gotta plant more seeds of change… I hope you’ll let this one grow.

Happy Earth Life!

Jackie Day, vegan for 30+ years and author of the bestseller The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You (St. Martin’s Press / Macmillan). “Playful and upbeat… this book marvelously succeeds.” Publishers Weekly