Here's an important disclaimer: I am not a vegan.
I am not here to preach the vegan gospel, and I don't believe in shaming people for what they eat. Because food is so deeply linked to our cultures, lives, emotions.
I am just a traveler who cares about the planet and about animal-welfare. And I want us to be able to enjoy our earth for many more centuries to come.
Intensive animal agriculture is one of the biggest causes of climate change. It produces not only loads of green house gases, but also pollutes ground and water, and degrades soil. Above all, it is the number one cause of deforestation.
Every minute, an acre of centuries old rainforest gets cut down. Mostly to make space for cattle, or to grow feed. 77% of the worlds' soy production goes to feed animals.
We feed animals plants and water, but get little in return. A kilo of beef requires 7 kg of grain and over 50.000 L of water. All resources that could have gone directly to people.
The environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry is undeniable. And then there's also the issue of how the animals, and the workers, are treated: with little to no respect.
Plenty of reasons to take a good hard look at what's on our plate. Where did it come from? How was it made? What is its impact? Is there a better option?
Reducing your intake of animal-products immediately lowers your carbon footprint, even if you don't go fully vegan.
And that doesn't mean you have to miss out on delicious food! Even while traveling. Cultures around the world have developed delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes. Dishes that connect to the land, the history, the people. Everything that makes food tourism so appealing. Without the environmental price tag.