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Health & wellbeing

Everything we care about is connected with the food we eat.

“As a food justice activist, the biggest challenge I face is the fact that I’m working against food systems built on deeply-entrenched inequity and blatant racism. I think we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves about food justice issues and to consider either getting directly involved or supporting others. There are already people all over the country—and indeed all over the world—doing plant-based food justice activism. Find out who those people closest to you are and support them!”

Our current farming system promotes disease, abuses workers, and increases the risk of another pandemic. Flip the system, and you benefit everyone.

Animal agriculture can be violent and destructive, especially when it’s done in the intensive way it currently is. Countless exposés have documented that today’s animal agriculture is cruel and unsustainable, but there are many harms that aren’t as obvious, especially as it relates to human health and wellbeing. These harms affect everyone, but many disproportionately hurt low-income communities and people of color.

From limited access to abundance

Consider that the biggest cause of death in the United States – heart disease – is linked to meat.1 Type 2 diabetes, which is especially common in Black and Hispanic communities, is also linked to meat consumption.2 Despite this, our broken food system subsidizes the cost of meat, making it cheap and widely available – often in the form of unhealthy fast food. In addition, as food justice advocates know, common but exploitative business practices limit access to supermarkets and healthy food in low-income communities. The result is that people of color often suffer disproportionately from the nutritional harms of diets heavy in meat, eggs, and dairy. This is why FlipIt is proud to celebrate the work of activists like Gwenna Hunter and Brenda Sanders who are bringing plant-based abundance to communities that our dominant food system has neglected.

The human cost of animal agriculture

There are also harms in the production of animal products. On the factory farms where animal products are produced today, workers, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, experience exceptionally high rates of on-the-job injury. Slaughterhouse workers have it even worse. They lose limbs, wear out tendons, breathe in chemicals, and develop neurological conditions on the job. Sometimes these workers are children.

Flip our food system for pandemic resilience

And don’t forget pandemics. Factory farms increase the risk of pandemics by raising genetically uniform, sickly animals by the thousands in intensive confinement. Today, most farmed animals are intensively bred for fast growth, which makes them vulnerable to disease. It doesn’t take an expert to realize that cramming these immunocompromised animals into tight quarters by the tens of thousands is an invitation for bacteria and viruses to mutate into new diseases that are dangerous to humans.  A food system that depends on factory farms is just begging for the next superbug to be unleashed.

The good news is that community activists are already creating a more just food system that supports the health of the planet, animals, and people by making plant-based food accessible to everyone.



Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Fast Stats – Leading Causes of Death,” last modified January 18, 2023,; “Red and Processed Meats Increase Risk of Death From Heart Disease,” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, March 29, 2019,


J. Sonya Haw, Megha Shah, Sara Turbow, Michelle Egeolu, and Guillermo Umpierrez, “Diabetes Complications in Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations in the USA,” Current Diabetes Reports 21, no. 2 (January 2021),