As our already overpopulated world continues to grow, many people believe we will be forced to adapt to plant-based diets. These diets would shift the emphasis from consuming meat products to eating more plants.

But how can eating plants help us? The answer is simple: eating naturally grown plants is better for our bodies and for the environment.

When we go through the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant, we typically order a greasy burger with a side of French fries. The food is completely processed, and we literally have no idea what we are consuming.

The processed ingredients in our food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. By adapting to a more natural diet, our bodies can digest and process food more easily.

Additionally, millions of people around the world suffer from hunger. Most of the soybeans and grain grown is used to feed animals, but with a plant-based diet, these grains could be allocated to people suffering from food insecurity.

Researchers have also found that food production is responsible for roughly 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions. They also discovered a correlation between vegan and vegetarian diets and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions have been linked to animals releasing their natural methane gas when they fart and burp. Not only are animals releasing methane gas, but they account for roughly 70% of our freshwater use.

Not to mention, animals occupy a majority of the agricultural land. We need somewhere to grow the animals, so we are forced to resort to deforestation.

There are billions of people in the world; it takes billions of animals to feed everyone, and not even everyone gets fed. By emphasizing meat-based diets, we are compromising our environment and our health.

If our world were more plant-based, animals could return to their natural habitats. We could stress the importance of growing plants, which would eliminate the need for deforestation.

People could also learn to grow their own food, even if it is just a couple of vegetables. It is no secret that when plants flourish, humans do too.

While plant-based diets offer many benefits, it may not be a suitable diet for everyone. For instance, diabetics may need meat in their diets because it is low in carbohydrates; this prevents their glucose levels from fluctuating.

The transition from meat-based diets to plant-based diets can appear daunting. But it is important to remember that is does not have to be an immediate transition.

You can begin by challenging yourself to go vegetarian once per week, and then twice, and so on. Likewise, eating a plant-based diet does not mean eliminating all meats; it simply means eating more plants and less meat.

It is clear our environment has been negatively impacted by the food we consume. If we want our beautiful Earth to thrive for centuries to come, then we must make drastic changes.

We have one environment, and it is our duty to take care of it.