Popular media organization TED just held its first in-person climate conference. The event’s menu was fully vegan, a move that was applauded by animal protection and climate activist groups.
Founded 37 years ago, TED amplifies the voices of thought leaders from various sectors across the globe. It does this by publishing talks online, all of which are 18 minutes or less. The talks cover social, political, scientific, cultural, and academic topics.
TED’s videos have been viewed more than two billion times on its main YouTube channel.
And, videos produced by TEDx have garnered nearly six billion views. TEDx is not controlled by TED, but follows the same format and receives guidance from the organization.
The Countdown Summit
TED’s recent climate conference, the Countdown Summit, united hundreds of leaders in Edinburgh, Scotland. Indigenous leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, policy makers, scientists, artists, philanthropists, and youth activists were in attendance.
There, they discussed what needs to be done to protect and restore the planet. This included laying out a blueprint for an attainable path to a net-zero future.
On October 30, a virtual YouTube event will display highlights from the summit. And, for the rest of the year, hundreds of TEDx Countdown events will be held to magnify these sustainability goals.
The summit’s fully plant-based menu was apt, given the event’s focus on sustainability.
“Animal agriculture’s devastating impact on the environment cannot be overlooked: intensive animal farming is responsible for an estimated 14.5—16.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions globally, on par with emissions levels of the entire transport sector,” said Elizabeth Novogratz, Executive Director of Species Unite, an animal rights non-profit.
“Studies show that reducing meat and dairy production and consumption is one of the most effective actions we can take to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
Novogratz noted that as well as affecting animal and human health, eating meat is the ‘primary cause’ of a great deal of environmental damage.
This damage is contributing to the ‘mass displacement of vulnerable communities, food scarcity in many parts of the world, critical habitat destruction, water pollution, and widespread animal extinctions’, she said.
Novogratz added: “We applaud TED for listening to the science by serving plant-based, climate-friendly food at their climate conference. This sends a clear message to the world that they are serious about tackling animal agriculture’s catastrophic impact on our planet.”