VANCOUVER, Nov 3, 2021 – Vancouver City Council is considering a motion today that could help decrease spending, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve animal welfare. The motion would support recommendations from a recently released report by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS), which highlights the impact the City of Vancouver can make by replacing 20 percent of their animal-based food purchasing with plant-based alternatives.
The report looks at the current food purchasing strategies for the City of Vancouver and outlines the annual cost and greenhouse gas emissions associated with foods typically purchased. By making a shift in their purchasing, the City of Vancouver could expect to save up to $99,000; 500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and the equivalent of nearly 400 farmed animal lives on an annual basis. The report outlines the impacts of three strategies that effectively replace 20 percent of animal-based foods purchased with plant-based alternatives.
“The evidence is clear that we need to shift our diets and our food system toward more humane and sustainable plant-based foods,” said VHS Campaign Director, Emily Pickett. “In Vancouver, the consumption of food makes up nearly half of the City’s ecological footprint, particularly from intensive agriculture producing meat and dairy products made from animals. There’s a lot of opportunity for positive change and we’re pleased to see this important discussion happening at the City of Vancouver level.”
The motion acknowledges that livestock farming is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions; the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has advised that a plant-based diet can help in the fight against climate change. It goes on to highlight how a shift toward more sustainable and healthy plant-based foods aligns with existing City of Vancouver priorities, including the City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and the Healthy City Strategy. The motion recommends that Council direct staff to consider the policy options outlined in VHS’s “Increasing Plant-Based Purchasing at the Municipal Level” report.
For further information: Emily Pickett: 604-416-2902, firstname.lastname@example.org