Why buying local, eating less meat and taking baby steps won’t work
by Dr. Richard Oppenlander
Following up on his excellent Comfortably Unaware Dr. Oppenlander goes deeper into the massive environmental impacts of our current animal based agriculture system on land and in the oceans. Brian Wendel, Creator and Executive Producer of Forks Over Knives wrote that Dr. Oppenlander’s important work shows how the long-term health of our planet and its inhabitants will be determined, in large part, by our willingness to adopt a plant-based diet en masse. In reading “Food Choice and Sustainability”, one may find empowerment that such a simple and effective remedy can begin at our next meal.
Julieanna Hever, Author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition commented that “Food Choice and Sustainability” intricately weaves food choice to the destruction of the planet, offering the one and only solution—the evolution to a plant-based diet.
What we choose to eat is killing our planet and us, yet use of the word ‘sustainable’ is ubiquitous. Explanation of this incongruity lies in the fact that sustainability efforts are rarely positioned to include food choice in an accurate or adequate manner. This is due to a number of influencing cultural, social, and political factors that disable our food production systems and limit our base of knowledge—falsely guiding us on a path of pseudo sustainability, while we devastate the ecosystems that support us, cause mass extinctions, and generate narrowing time lines because of our global footprint that will ultimately jeopardize our very survival as a civilization. Dr. Oppenlander’s goal with this book is to increase awareness in order to effect positive change—before it is too late. This is a groundbreaking book, and given the urgency and magnitude of the problem, it’s a book that anyone who cares about our future and that of other species should read —individuals, academic institutions, businesses, organizations, and policy makers. Categories of global depletion are detailed, widely held myths are debunked, critical disconnects are exposed, and unique, profound solutions are offered. This book also unveils a new model of multidimensional sustainability for developing countries to eradicate world hunger and poverty as it compels us all to become aware of the enormous effect of our food choices, make necessary changes, and then, inspire others to do the same.
As another reviewer Jon Stryker, President and Founder of the Arcus Foundation, put it Dr. Oppenlander’s remarkable book clearly makes the case imperative: our food choices are degrading our climate, exhausting our natural resources and creating monumental struggles for people in developing world nations. We must raise our awareness and make ethical and moral food choices.