If I could change one thing about the world, I would have everyone adopt a plant based diet. Many people associate their carbon footprint with the fuel in the car they drive but they don't associate it with the food on their plate. The meat industry is very hard on our natural resources: it pollutes our land and water, cuts down rain forests and slaughters billions of animals annually that are raised in horrific conditions on factory farms. According to the United Nations, more greenhouse gas emissions come from raising animals for food than all the planes, trains, ships, trucks, cars (and race cars!)—all forms of fossil fuel based transportation on the planet combined. Leonardo Da Vinci was vegetarian and Albert Einstein said "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." So don't take it from me, take it from Einstein! I know that it is not realistic to expect everyone on the planet to become vegan or even vegetarian, but it is realistic for everyone to cut back—start with Meatless Mondays and see where it takes you from there!
Leilani Munter is a professional race car driver, environmental activist, and frequent contributor to TreeHugger.com.
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