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  • Emily Woods Wellness

Conscious Consumption {without a label}

It has been the HOTTEST minute since I've been on this blog!! I am constantly jotting down ideas into the notes on my phone about potential posts but between editing travel vlogs (check those out here) and working on my health coaching program, I have the hardest time sitting down and getting blog posts done. Anywho. Here I am. Happy to be here. (here is the link to the Instagram post I just made about this.)

Earlier this week in my home state of Alabama, there was a horrendous toxic spill at a Tyson protein processing plant that killed hundreds of thousands of native fish in the Black Warrior River near Birmingham. There continues to be a spread of toxic E. coli blooms and an ever-growing number of organismal casualties. Alabama ranks as one of the most biodiverse states in the country, especially when it comes to freshwater organisms. An ecological catastrophe of this magnitude will affect the freshwater biome and all organisms who rely on it as a source of food or shelter. And what was the root cause of all this?

The need for mass-produced chicken products and the further processing of inedible parts to serve as a protein source for other livestock.

To keep this brief, I believe there are 3 distinct ways that each of us can make a direct impact on the environmental crisis that is facing our planet today.

1) Drive less. The effect of a gasoline-fueled transportation system is not a positive one, as we are all aware. The more that you can walk, cycle, use public transportation, or carpool, the better.

2) Reduce your use of single-use plastics. It should not be a mystery that a HUGE issue in today's convenience-based society is the constant use of plastic cutlery, cups, plates, straws, etc. For the record, I have not encountered much of that at all in my European travels, save my singular trip to Starbucks (it was an emergency, k). It should not be a secret that the recycling system is FAR from perfect and many items are still thrown away or are blown into bodies of water. We can eliminate the need for such reliance on a faulty system by taking back responsibility and cutting out unnecessary plastic items.

3) Eat fewer animal products. Ah. Where it all comes together. The immense amount of resources required to produce sources of animal protein are, to many, beyond comprehension. Check out this article for a brief overview of this topic. As displayed by the recent exposure of Fairlife dairy farms, conditions across factory farming operations are largely deplorable to the point of an 'Explicit' tag on videos where they are shown. The gallons of water, pounds of fertilizer, syringes of synthetic antibiotics, and release of greenhouse gasses that will be eliminated when you choose to partake in a plant-based meal is truly something to be proud of.

Cheese, meat, yogurt and all, this whole plate is vegan.

There is no need to label a change from a carnivorous, dairy-laden diet as veganism; lest we forget that not everything needs a label. (You don't even have to tell anyone you're doing this. Instagram only spills the beans when you let it;) Don't put yourself in a box, just do the intelligent thing. We'll leave the physical benefits of a predominantly plant-based diet for another time but trust me when I say, you'll feel GREAT. Better than you knew you could.

xxx em

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