Well over 800 million people on the planet go hungry every night; they wake up hungry every morning, and they spend their waking hours in need of food. It's a horrible thought, but it's an even worse reality for so many people.
In the United States, over 90 percent of agricultural land is used for livestock in some way. A sad fact is that large expanses of land that could be used to grow food for humans are used for crops for farm animals that are bred only to be killed. Resources like water are also used in this manner, taking away from other uses to help the hungry.
According to GoVeg.com, it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. According to the Animal Spirit Website, "It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a pound of tomatoes. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. One acre of land can produce 20,000 pounds of potatoes. One acre of land can produce 165 pounds of beef."
In the face of looking at such hard facts, many people feel helpless. However, there is something important that people can do to start things in motion for a positive change. We can all make vegan choices for a kinder world in many ways, including for those hungry people in the world.
John Robbins is a famous vegan and author. He wrote "Diet for a New America" that convinced many to go vegan in the 1990s. He stated, "The existence of so much hunger in the world is a reality we cannot deny. It is a reality that challenges us deeply: it asks us to become more fully human."
Going vegetarian--and preferably vegan--is one of the best ways that you can contribute to stopping world hunger. While I am socially awkward and not very influential, I have helped open the eyes to some very influential friends. They've convinced dozens of people to go vegetarian because I convinced them, never by being preachy, but by answering questions when asked. Living by example is a great power to inspire change around you.
Other things that you can do include starting in your own community. There are hungry people all over the world and in every state in this prosperious United States of America. You can make a difference by volunteering in your local soup kitchen (and by providing yummy vegan dishes). Volunteer for shelters and Meals on Wheels programs as well. There are emergency relief opportunities, and the chance to feed people at churches or temples.
Write a list of the reasons why you want to go vegan if you decide to do so. Helping the world's hungry is likely to be at the top of the list. However, going vegan isn't something that must be done overnight. In fact, Paul McCartney, a long-time vegetarian, recently asked for simply a Meat-Free Monday. If you take small steps toward a vegan lifestyle, you stand a greater chance in sticking to your goals and making long-term changes for good.
Try vegan replacements for your favorite foods. There are delicious vegan ice cream sandwiches that would trump their dairy predecessors in any taste test. If you're at Houston's, try the veggie burger that rivals any meat burger known to man. You can even opt for a veggie burger at Burger King. By making the transition painless and tasty, you'll realize that you actual open yourself up to choices you've never tried or picked before. Rather than seeing veganism as something that is restricting you, you'll soon realize that it expands your horizons.