We now know from research that a plant-based diet is “associated with a significantly reduced risk of negative health outcomes“. That list includes heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer*.

We also know that “Phasing out animal agriculture represents ‘our best and most immediate chance to reverse the trajectory of climate change.”

But let’s be realistic here: we’re not going to phase out animal agriculture anytime soon.

I am not trying to convince you to take an oath with one hand on a block of tofu.

Yet any movement towards a more plant-based is a win for you, the environment and the animals on the factory farms. This shift can come in any form that feels the most reasonable for you:

  1. Vegan diet: Excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs, focusing entirely on plant-based foods.
  2. Vegetarian diet: Omits meat but often includes dairy products and eggs.
  3. Lacto-vegetarian diet: Includes dairy products but excludes meat, fish, eggs, and poultry.
  4. Ovo-vegetarian diet: Includes eggs but excludes meat, fish, dairy products, and poultry.
  5. Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet: Includes dairy products and eggs but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.
  6. Pescatarian diet: Excludes meat and poultry but includes fish and seafood alongside plant-based foods.
  7. Flexitarian diet: Primarily plant-based but occasionally includes meat, fish, or poultry, offering more flexibility than other vegetarian diets.

*Fine print about the reduced risk of cancer:

“Although many studies have been inconclusive as to whether or not vegetarian diets reduce risk of various specific cancers, some studies have suggested that eating processed meats such as ham, bacon, and salami pose an increased risk of developing cancer.”

“A cohort study in 2006 of French women concluded that women whose diets were rich in meats had a greater likelihood of developing colorectal cancer than those who did not consume large amounts of red meat.”

Here’s the study.