Translator: Michele Gianella
Reviewer: Elena Montrasio
When I was three years old,
my favorite food was chicken nuggets.
I loved chicken nuggets.
I could eat them almost every day.
One day, I was sitting
at the dinner table
staring at the nuggets,
and I started to wonder
about where they came from.
So I asked my mom, “Mom,
where do my chicken nuggets come from?”
She looked at me and she said,
“From the grocery store.”
Well, I knew they came
from the grocery store,
so I tried again.
“Mom, where do my chicken nuggets
really come from?”
She told me that we
killed animals for them.
“What? We eat animals, mom?
I never want to eat meat, ever again.”
That night, me and my mom
stopped eating animals.
One year later, I remember
walking into my mom’s bedroom,
and I saw her nursing
my baby sister Zion,
and it made me think
about the milk I drink.
So I asked my mom,
“Mom, where does my milk come from?”
She told me that we got it from mama cows.
I said, “So that’s the same
with taking your milk,
just to give it to humans
instead of my baby sister, right?”
She said, “That’s exactly how it is.
I’ve never thought of it that way!”
I knew I would stop drinking
and eating dairy products.
It’s been four years
since I went vegan, and I love it!
Because I know I’m helping animals
and also the earth, too.
Soon, my whole family joined me.
Not eating animal products
will not only save animals,
but it will help stop much of the damage
we have done to the earth.
Now, you may wonder,
“What does veganism
have to do with the planet?”
I thought the same thing too
until I learned these facts,
and honestly, they really worried me.
I hope they worry you too.
According to many scientific studies,
raising animals for food
is the primary cause
of global climate change,
loss of biodiversity,
pollution, and water shortage –
just to name a few.
The California Water Education study
shows it takes 2,463 gallons of water
just to produce one pound of beef.
2,500 gallons is like filling up
a large bath pool of water 20 times.
It also takes close to 500 gallons
for one pound of poultry or pork,
and 900 gallons for one pound of cheese.
The average American
eats 198 pounds of meat each year.
The world average is 75 pounds of meat.
There are over six billion people
on this planet who eat meat.
That’s a lot of water used
just so humans can eat animals.
In fact, the USDA states
80 to 90% of the water
used in the United States
is for animal agriculture.
A five-minute shower
uses 25 gallons of water,
but it takes up to 1,300 gallons
just to produce one burger.
That is equivalent to almost
two months of showers.
I see a lot of people
in their eco-friendly cars
with their “Save the Earth”
but they are in drive-throughs
I wonder if they know
animal agriculture causes
far more environmental destruction
than the entire transportation industry.
That’s all buses, trucks, cars,
boats, and planes in the world.
The emissions from animal agriculture
are projected to rise by 80%
in the next 30 years.
But the emissions from energy
are only projected to rise by 20%.
Now, this really scares me.
It makes me worry about the future
of my generation and future generations,
when people can change the way they eat,
it’d have an immediate
impact on the planet.
I have come to you as a representative
of my generation
and future generations to come.
To ask you to think
about the foods you eat
if you eat animals and animal products,
and how it has a negative
impact on the planet.
I know, a lot of you may be thinking
it may be hard to go vegan,
or you just really don’t want to.
I know this because
when we first went vegan,
I saw my mom in the back of her closet
eating a chocolate bar.
But that was before she knew there was
a lot of great dairy-free chocolates.
I know, at first it may be hard,
but it gets easier.
It just is a choice you make every day.
So, how do you do this,
and where do you start?
Shop in the colorful section
of the grocery store.
No, I’m not talking about the aisles
with the foods with ingredients
we can’t pronounce.
The produce section has a variety
of fruits and vegetables we need to try.
In fact, the Academy of Nutrition
and Dietetics states,
“A vegan lifestyle can be healthy
at all stages of life
and bring all of the necessary nutrients
we need, such as protein.”
There are even companies
that sell animal-free alternatives
to your favorite meals.
You can still eat your favorite foods
knowing animals and the earth
are not being harmed.
It’s a total win-win, right?
You can also go on the Internet
and find thousands of fun, nutritious,
and delicious vegan recipes
that you can access
at the click of a button.
Think it will be hard?
It’s actually not.
Many restaurants offer vegan options,
or you can even ask your chef
to veganize your dish
by leaving off the meat and the dairy.
Now that you have some information
of how to take animals products
off of your plates,
I would like you to think
about one of my favorite quotes,
which is a native American proverb,
“We do not inherit the earth
from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.”
Please consider my generation
and future generations,
and know that we are worried
about our future on this planet.
And we are looking for adults to help.
The good news is that by changing
what you choose to eat,
you will become a part
of healing our planet,
saving animals, and ensuring
a bright future for all of us.
I really, really want this world.
And I know, you do too.
You know what?
I still love chicken nuggets,
but now, they are vegan.
So let’s help the earth
and all living beings on this planet
by making conscious choices
about the foods we eat,
and let the healing begin!
All credits go to TEDx Talks