Putting plants on more plates
Our Plant-Based Plates program works at the institutional level to transition menus and food policy toward less animal products and more plant-based foods.
- We focus on engaging with decision-makers at the government, school, school district and food service levels regarding opportunities to transition menus and implement plant-forward policies that align with existing goals.
- We strive to empower students, youth and the general public in becoming advocates for a more ethical and humane food system within their own communities.
- We collaborate with stakeholders to ensure animal welfare and meat-reduction are included in food advocacy efforts.
- We offer free resources, including presentations, recipes, marketing materials, menu planning best practices and culinary support to assist institutions in implementing menu and food policy changes.
Interested in introducing or expanding plant-based menu options at your school, workplace, business or community? Download our Plant-Based Plates toolkit to learn more and get in touch with us!
Canadians eat more than double the global average of meat and this over-consumption of animal products has resulted in the rise of the industrial animal agriculture system, characterized by large numbers of animals confined in cramped, barren and unnatural conditions. Meanwhile, the loss of wild areas for livestock grazing and growing crops to feed farmed animals is also a leading cause of species decline and habitat loss.
Canadians are increasingly concerned with many of the practices that are standard for today’s animal agriculture industry. As a result, more and more Canadians are looking to reduce their consumption of animal products or transition toward a plant-based diet.
Reducing our consumption of animal products and increasing our intake of fruits, vegetables, and legumes—cornerstones of a plant-based diet—have been linked to a host of health benefits. A healthy plant-based diet can help protect against heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, while also being high in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants and low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Canada’s revised Food Guide recommends shifting consumption to more plant-based foods, including encouraging Canadians to choose plant-based proteins more often. The guide also acknowledges that many of the well-studied healthy eating patterns from areas of the world where people statistically live the longest include mostly plant-based foods.
In a major report, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization found “livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale..the impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency.” In addition to climate change, animal agriculture is a major contributor to air and water pollution, water use, land and ocean degradation, deforestation, and biodiversity loss.
Animal agriculture is so devastating for the planet for a simple reason: raising plant crops to feed livestock is far less efficient than eating plant crops directly. Thanks to its incredible inefficiencies, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector.
Research has also found that even the lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable plant-based crops. They concluded that avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on the planet.
The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is joining other animal protection, environmental and food advocacy groups in calling on the federal government to direct any financial aid for Canada’s agriculture system toward transitioning to a safe, equitable and sustainable plant-based food…