Animal agriculture accounts for roughly 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It comprises a whopping 44% of all anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions, which is the most potent greenhouse gas. Prominent researchers and scientists describe eating a plant-based diet as one of the most crucial contributions people can make to reducing global warming. In addition to significantly contributing to the degradation of the environment, animal agriculture is also the largest contributor to global water pollution and drives global deforestation.
Moreover, about ⅓ of biodiversity loss to date, links back to animal agriculture. Despite repeated evidence of the terrible impacts of animal agriculture, only 50% of adults in the U.S. have made an effort to reduce their animal product consumption. If each one of us cuts back on our animal product consumption by 10%, 1 billion animals will live to see another day and the yearly impacts on the environment would be greatly decreased. Given this statistic, it is essential for people to continue striving to reduce their meat and dairy consumption! Luckily, Columbia and its surrounding areas have some great vegan options to try out!
Great Sage, a fully vegan restaurant in Clarksville, is home to delicious organic and sustainable dishes, including macaroni and cheese, nachos, burgers, and sweets! PLNT Burger, housed inside the Columbia Whole Foods, is also a fully vegan restaurant, with sausages and a variety of burgers. Also located in Clarksville, Koshary by Misteka, serves vegan authentic Egyptian and Mediterranean food, including falafel and kabobs.
In addition to the local, fully vegan restaurants, several restaurants have delicious vegan options! In Elkridge, Silver Diner has a vegan option for everyone, having everything from vegan pancakes and Just Egg benedict, to the Beyond Burger and mushroom piccata. If you’re looking for vegan Italian options, Aida Bistro has you covered, with risotto and pastas! Bibibop and MOD Pizza also have several vegan options, including dairy-free cheese, tofu, and tons of veggies!
Finally, if you are in search of a quick meal, try a vegan fast-food option! Taco Bell has a black bean crunchwrap supreme that can easily be ordered without the cheese and sour cream. Burger King features the Impossible whopper, a plant-based burger. At Subway, pile on the veggies or order a Beyond Meatball marinara. In addition to having vegan hash browns, Dunkin Donuts also has a Beyond breakfast sausage! Panda Express has several options, including eggplant tofu and veggies spring rolls. Lastly, Chipotle’s build your own style provides burrito options including a plant based protein (sofritas), numerous veggies, and guacamole!
In addition to eating out, bring plant-based living into your home! Try starting a vegetable garden in your yard. It will enable you to have some wonderful fresh vegetables, in addition to encouraging you to rely on a more sustainable alternative to meat. Here at Freetown Farm, we provide people with hands-on experiences in learning how to grow and harvest food. If you are interested, it is an incredible opportunity to lessen your impact on the environment! Use your fresh fruits and veggies to make some exciting new food! A quick Google search will present you with countless vegan recipes to experiment with. Eating more fruits and vegetables at home over meat and dairy products also contributes to a healthier lifestyle!
With all of the incredible vegan restaurants and vegan options in the area, please take the initiative, and do your part in preventing animal cruelty and reducing your contribution to global warming. Even if one person cuts their animal product intake, it has a profound impact on both the animals and the environment.
Author: Shoshi Hornum, CEI Intern
New York Times
The Humane Society