April is an exciting time of year: Flowers are blooming, baby animals are being born, and it’s Earth Month! That means that it’s the perfect time to take action for animals and the environment—and there’s no better way to do that than by going vegan.

As more and more people learn that one of the best ways to combat climate change is to go vegan, we’ve been watching a plant-based revolution happen right before our eyes. Sales of dairy foods and meat are declining, mainstream food brands are coming out with plant-based dishes, and many colleges and universities are even offering more plant-based options to their students. The University of North Texas already has an all-vegan dining hall, and Northwestern University in Illinois chose to serve an almost entirely vegetarian menu to students in its dining hall on April 17 in commemoration of Earth Day (which is April 22).

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Most of us do our best to make the world a better place. We use reusable bags, take shorter showers, use efficient light bulbs—the list goes on and on. But many people aren’t aware of the major impact that our food choices have on the environment. Did you know

… that cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane—a gas more harmful than carbon dioxide—every day?

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… that it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk, and nearly 500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of eggs?

… that we could see fishless oceans by 2048?

… that livestock covers 45 percent of the land on Earth?

All that sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, it is—but there’s something that you can do about it: Go vegan! Choosing to keep animals off your plate and out of your closet is the best way to save the planet. By making the conscious decision not to consume or wear the body parts of others, you are making a huge positive difference on the reg.

Huge kudos to the University of North Texas, Northwestern University, and the many other schools that are taking a stand for animals, the planet, and their students. Higher education is meant to challenge common beliefs and inform and prepare leaders to go out and change the world. These schools are exemplary models of that.

Want to help? Share this post, and check out our guide to going vegan.