Environmental campaigner Julia Butterfly Hill (who spent 2 years living in a redwood tree in California, to stop it being cut down) once wrote a book called ‘One Makes the Difference’. You likely have heard if you’re vegan the argument that ‘you won’t make that much difference’. There was once a story of a guru who was asked why he was bothering to rescue a stranded fish at the seaside as it would not make that much difference. He replied ‘It will to that particular fish’.
It’s true that one person switching to a plant-based diet is a small drop in the ocean. But it’s also true that one truly does make the difference. Let’s look at how many animals you save by going vegan: the average is believed to be around 105 a year, you can get a more accurate number at the Vegan Calculator website. For instance if you have been vegan for 15 years, you have saved almost 5,500 animals! You have also saved over 111,000 pounds of carbon emissions, 164,000 square feet of forest, 241,000 pounds of grain (which could be used to feed starving humans) and almost 6 million gallons of fresh water.
The animal stats page is quite shocking, calculating how many animals have been killed since you took a look. It also details how many creatures are killed each year for human consumption (from the millions and billions of ‘conventional meats’ to others like rodents, horses, donkeys and camels).
Zero waste campaigner Anne Marie Bonneau is known for her quote about the zero waste lifestyle: we don’t need one person doing everything perfectly; we need millions and billions of people doing it imperfectly. So if you eat meat one day or feel pressured into drinking some non-vegan wine or accidentally ingest a bit of palm oil – don’t beat yourself up. If you are trying daily to make tiny changes for the common good, then vegans and non-vegans alike applaud you. If you feel a bit bad if you make a mistake, it likely means you care – and that’s good!
One Really Makes the Difference!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
The man who moves a mountain, begins by carrying small stones. Confucius
Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress – which means you get there a little at a time. Not all at once. Curiano Quotes Life
Great things are not done by impulse. But by a series of small things brought together. Vincent Van Gogh