Mood Booster: from Australians giving up meat to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
Do you need a mood-boosting pick-me-up? Here are four positive news stories from the plant-based space that are sure to boost your mood!
Almost a third of Australians have reduced their meat consumption over the past year
A study from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, found that 32.2% of Australians have reduced their meat consumption in the last 12 months. Respondents were asked about their reasons for doing so, with health being the most commonly cited motivation, amid rising concerns about the link between animal-based products and chronic disease, followed by environmental and animal welfare issues.
Of those who had reduced their meat intake, the majority said they aimed to follow a plant-forward diet, while a minority (14.3%) said they were just trying new products and did not necessarily intend on changing their eating habits. However, overall, the findings indicated widespread interest in and openness to plant-based foods, a very positive step forward towards more sustainable diets.
Switching cats and dogs to plant-based diets could free up a total land area larger than Mexico and Germany combined
A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE has found that feeding cats and dogs a meatless diet has huge potential benefits for the environment. It found that if all cats and dogs worldwide were exclusively fed meat-free food, almost seven billion farmed animals could be spared annually, along with billions of aquatic animals. In fact, feeding dogs and cats a plant-based diet could save an area of land larger than Mexico and Germany combined.
The study also suggests that plant-based diets for pets could significantly reduce water use, greenhouse gas emissions, pollutants, and the use of biocides – which is potentially great news for our planet.
Eating a plant-based diet can significantly decrease the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
According to a new study from Queen’s University in Belfast, eating a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, nuts, and tea can significantly decrease your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. After following more than 126,000 participants for nearly 12 years, a total of 577 people were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers found that people who ate a healthy plant-based diet had a 22–25% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s, depending on genetic risk factors. Because Parkinson’s is more common in older people, the researchers found an even stronger association between healthy plant-based diets and reduced risk of acquiring the disease in participants aged 60 and over.
Climate advisors suggest capping the prices of plant-based alternatives to help cut meat consumption
After British MPs overwhelmingly rejected the idea of a meat tax as an environmental measure, the country’s Climate Change Committee has instead proposed a cap on the prices of plant-based alternatives as a means of reducing meat consumption. In the resulting report, the committee proposed eight key areas of change, with the first being reducing high-carbon foods in people’s diets (e.g. meat and dairy).
According to the report, “Information-based interventions work best in combination with other approaches, such as making plant-based foods more available, convenient, attractive, and affordable. Policymakers may achieve this by making plant-based options more visible and the default in supermarkets and restaurants, alongside introducing financial incentives (e.g. reducing the price of plant-based foods).”
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