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Top 10 Powerful plant-based animals

elephantWhen you take the plunge to switch to vegan or vegetarian, or even decrease your meat intake (flexitarian), there is an attach by meat-eaters. You will be inevitable asked from where you will be getting your protein. And that protein is important for strength and muscles. You will be told to look out as you might get feeble and break your bones.

Let’s burst the bubble. After all the largest and strongest animals on our planet are all herbivores. Yeah herbivores, that’s un-fanciful word for being vegan. Here are our Top 10 Powerful plant-based animals:

  1. Elephants: The largest land based mammal, both Indian and African elephants are herbivorous. Interestingly elephants are led by a matriarch, elephants are organized into complex social structures of females and calves, while male elephants tend to live in isolation. [1]
  2. Rhinos: This powerful and magnificent animal is also an endangered animal, with less than 30,000 rhinos living in the wild today [2]
  3. Hippos: There are two hippo species, both found in Africa with a conservation status set as vulnerable. The common hippo which is found in East Africa, south of the Sahara. The other much smaller species of hippo is the pygmy hippopotamus now found in very restricted ranges in West Africa. [3]
  4. Gorillas: Whoever read or saw the film Gorillas in the Mist knows the plight of mountain gorillas. This critically endangered species is now limited to two regions in Africa. [4]
  5. Giraffes: Giraffe numbers have decreased by 40% in the last 30 years with less than 100,000 remaining. Three subspecies are listed as critically endangered by IUCN. Many people, including conservationists, remain unaware that the world’s tallest animal is experiencing a silent slide towards extinction. [5]
  6. Horses: We all know the strength of horses which have evolved to have thick muscles, a large heart and powerful lungs.
  7. Manatees: Manatees also referred to as sea cows are very large graceful sea mammals averaging 10 feet long and 1,200 pounds. While manatees don’t have any true natural predators, they have still become endangered because of human interaction.
  8. Bison: It is estimated that between 20 to 30 million bison populated North America. The number of wild bison  is now at around 30,000 wild bison are in conservation herds and fewer than 5,000 are unfenced and disease-free. [6]
  9. Yaks: Wild yak is still exist in the Tibetan plateau. It can grow over 11 feet long in head and body length. There are around 15,000 left with the main cause of decline being hunting by humans and habitat loss. [7]
  10. Kangaroos: Kangaroos are a kick-boxing force to be reckoned with. Whoever has seen the videos of Roger the muscular Kangaroo knows their strength.

We could also quote animals like the bull or ox. After all we say as strong as an ox, but I guess we should start saying as strong as a plant-eating ox.

The unfortunate thing is that all these magnificent creatures are suffering extinction due to human practices. A major aspect for decline is habitat loss. Incredibly vast areas of the world have been taken over because of animal agriculture and agriculture directly linked to feed animals. If we had to chose to reduce or switch to a plant-based diet that 80% of the agricultural land can be given back to nature. With just one action we can solve climate change and biodiversity loss.

Author: Darryl Grima

Darryl Grima is Veggy Malta's Editor. He has been a vegetarian for over 31 years and recalls a time when Malta was not so vegetarian and vegan friendly. Apart from blogging on vegetarian matters, Darryl is also active in environmental and animal welfare organisations. He holds a Diploma in Political Studies and a Masters in Business Administration.

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