We have learned not to take food seriously: we eat as much as we want of what we want when we want it, and we seldom think about the health and environmental consequences of our choices. But the fact is that every choice we make has an impact on our health and on the environment. In The Vegetarian Imperative, Anand M. Saxena, a scientist and lifelong vegetarian, explains why we need to make better choices: for better health, to eliminate world hunger, and, ultimately, to save the planet. Our insatiable appetite for animal-based foods contributes directly to high rates of chronic diseases-resulting in both illness and death. It also leads to a devastating overuse of natural resources that dangerously depletes the food available for human consumption. The burgeoning population and increasing preference for meat in all parts of the world are stretching planetary resources beyond their limits, and the huge livestock industry is degrading the agricultural land and polluting air and water. Continuing at this pace will bring us to the crisis point in just a few decades-a reality that threatens not only our current lifestyle but our very survival.
This book shows us a way out of this dangerous and vicious cycle, recommending a much-needed shift to a diet of properly chosen plant-based foods. Any one of these arguments alone-personal health, worldwide hunger, and environmental degradation-provides reason enough to stop consuming so much animal-based food; taken together, they make an unassailable case for vegetarianism. The Vegetarian Imperative will make you rethink what you eat-and help you save the planet.
Anand M. Saxena worked as a biophysicist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory for more than thirty years. Now retired, he works as a guest scientist at BNL and is an active environmentalist.
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