This article is part of our “Youth Head Delegate Blog Series” — written by our YHDs!
By Bianca Rothe-Nikull
I can remember saying no to meat. A small four year old sitting upon my father’s lap, delectable smoked salmon in front of us, fresh from the Kitsilano Farmers market. I could not do it. I never ate meat, and by the second grade, I had stopped eating the tiny morsels of fish my family would offer me, and after 13 years of being vegetarian this year I dedicated myself to going completely vegan. It is utterly bizarre to me, the facts are right in front of us; a plant based diet is incredibly effective in combating the impending doom of climate change, but veganism is still seen as subpar. I call to challenge this claim. With a plant based diet one saves approximately 1,100 gallons of water, 45 lbs of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and the life of an animal every single day. I am not here to tell you to go vegan. Not here to argue against the fundamental reasons a vegan diet is not attainable for everybody, but here to say it exists on a spectrum. By choosing to have one vegan meal a week, to choose to try a new dish with your family, to challenge somebody to do the same, you are actively doing something good for the people, animals and land on our planet. I felt helpless for so long in our climate emergency. Not knowing how I could tangibly help improve the depreciation of nature I could see around me, until I did my research. It’s all about making micro changes within your life. It’s a decision you make every time you sit down to eat. How will I impact the world, how will I do my personal best to advocate for the things I believe in. Challenge yourself to grow. Step out of your comfort zone and become part of the solution. It is our collective social responsibility to actively be combatting the disastrous state which the world is being perpetually pushed towards. Plant based choices fight against worldwide malnourishment, factory farming, deforestation, water runoff contamination, overall degradation of our environment, overuse of fossil fuels, and abuse of a variety of natural resources, to name a few. The power of making these changes lies in its accessibility. It really is all about the small choices. We have the power to make a choice every day, every single time we shop. Do your research, and make choices you in turn can believe in.