To the Editor:
The year 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States.
Warming trends are causing sea levels to rise on the Gulf Coast of my home state Alabama, according to a new government report that also says climate change will cause coastal and river flooding in the Northeast United States.
Animal agriculture is a major culprit.
Production of meat and dairy products produces climate-changing greenhouse gases.
But there is good news.
As a dietitian, I know that switching to a vegetarian diet can reduce your carbon footprint and help cool the planet.
If everyone in the United States ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road, according to the Environmental Working Group.
The simplest step you can take to help stop flooding our coastlines with water -- and your arteries with saturated fat and cholesterol -- is switching to a plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Your body will thank you and so will the planet.
Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.,
Director of Nutrition Education,
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,