Doctors Push White House to Promote the Benefits of Plant-Based Diet
Doctors from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are pushing the Biden Administration to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet and work to end animal agriculture, the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
PCRM doctors' outreach was spurred after President Biden signed an Executive Order called 'Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad', which creates a National Climate Task Force, such as the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. PCRM is a nonprofit organization of 12,000 physicians who promote a plant-based diet, preventive medicine, and alternatives to animal research.
The mission of the National Climate Task Force is to “facilitate planning and implementation of key Federal actions to reduce climate pollution; increase resilience to the impacts of climate change; protect public health; conserve our lands, waters, oceans, and biodiversity; deliver environmental justice, and spur well-paying union jobs and economic growth."
The one topic missing from the executive order: Stopping animal agriculture.
The Executive Order failed to mention the negative impact animal agriculture has on the planet and the positive impact a plant-based diet can have on the environment. A 2019 study from The Lancet found that "food production is responsible for up to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with animal products accounting for the vast majority—about three-quarters—of these effects." Researchers suggested that "a dietary shift toward plant foods and away from animal products is vital for promoting human health and the health of our planet."
Doctors from PCRM are proposing the administration make these changes to the executive order:
- The Secretary of Agriculture shall propose a strategy to shift subsidies for meat and dairy products to fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans meant for human consumption.
- The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall include the climate benefits of a plant-based diet in the nutrition policy including the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- The Secretary of Agriculture shall propose a plan to include plant-based meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and monitor the climate impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture commodity foods, including meat and dairy products, used in the NSLP and other federal food programs.
PCRM isn't the only organization emphasizing the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. A new report backed by the UN found eating a plant-based diet is the best thing you can do for the environment. Researchers have also found that vegetarian and vegan diets have been associated with the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. People around the globe can do their own part to fight climate change by eating a more plant-based diet.