Plant-based Policy Centre was launched in 2019 with a mandate to promote plant-based policies as solutions to environmental, public health, and animal welfare issues in Canada and beyond.
Animal farming is a leading contributor to climate change, land and freshwater usage, air and water pollution, and biodiversity loss. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has called for animal farming to be a major policy focus when dealing with these significant environmental issues, pointing out that “Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large.” Research in the journal Nature shows that a global shift toward more plant-based eating could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2050.
Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the cornerstone of diets that reduce chronic disease and increase longevity. These foods are rich in health-promoting fibre, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, and nearly devoid of saturated fat. Up to half of all cancers and 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented through lifestyle changes, especially the adoption of diets that emphasize whole plant foods. According to research from Oxford University, shifting towards more plant-based diets could reduce global mortality by up to 10 percent. That is why Canada’s Food Guide now emphasizes choosing plant-based protein foods more often and limiting saturated fat.
In modern farms and slaughterhouses, sentient animals are subjected to treatment that would be considered animal cruelty if done to cats and dogs. Pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys, fishes, and other creatures are genetically manipulated, separated from family, confined in dirty and barren conditions, and ultimately killed at a fraction of their natural lifespans.
At the Plant-based Policy Centre, we believe that good food choices should be the easy food choices. Consumers alone cannot change our food system—the necessary systemic changes must be driven by responsible policy, ensuring that sustainable, healthy, and humane plant-based foods are accessible to all.