Whether you’re thinking of going vegan, vegetarian or just cutting down your meat intake, there are plenty of great reasons to reduce your consumption.

Eating more veggies, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of meat can have huge implications for your health, and the planet’s health as well.

But, it has become clear that everyone is not going to stop eating meat anytime soon, but as more and more awareness has been made towards the treatment of animals, and about the health effects of a conventional diet and environmental factors that come from eating too much meat, more people are starting to at least consider the option of consuming much less meat.

Since 2007, the consumption of meat has been steadily on the decline, and it has dropped 10% per capita in the US. Seven years later, almost half a billion fewer animals were subjected to the torment of factory farming and industrial slaughter plants, despite the increase in the U.S. population.

These numbers continue to fall, and sparing 500 million lives within 10 years is quite impressive. If this trend continues, no animals would have to suffer in the near future, and those animals which would be used for food could be treated with respect and raised in adequate conditions.

The increasing number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants also confirms that people are reconsidering their dietary habits and turn to healthier, less animal-based diets. People have become more open-minded and turn to tasty alternatives to meat, which help them easily make a shift.

Animal agriculture is destroying our planet. It is the leading cause of climate change, deforestation, wildlife destruction, ocean dead-zones and species extinction. This science cannot be ignored. If we want to continue life on our beautiful Planet Earth, something must change and it starts with what we chose to put on our plates.