Reading Time: 2 minutes 'The same animal products that can cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in humans are also harmful to the environment' Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
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A group of doctors is urging the White House to stop the ‘detrimental’ impact of animal agriculture.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a nonprofit organization featuring 12,000 physicians including Dr. Neal D. Barnard.

Promote plant-based dietary patterns

It is petitioning the White House to update its Executive Order to promote plant-based diets and ‘cut’ animal agriculture. 

“The Executive Order lists several actions the federal government will take to fight climate change. But, it fails to include steps it will take to stop the detrimental impact of animal agriculture and promote the benefits of plant-based dietary patterns—steps leading scientists, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization have recommended,” the petition reads.

The executive order creates a National Climate Task Force. This includes bodies such as the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

PCRM requests the White House update the Executive Order to include three directives:

  1. 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. 
  2. Both the Secretary of Agriculture, 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.
  3. 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 US Department of Agriculture commodity foods, including meat and dairy products, used in the NSLP and other federal food programs.

PCRM member Susan Levin, MS, RD, CSSD, states: “The same animal products that can cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in humans are also harmful to the environment… But, a plant-based diet can fight chronic disease and climate change.”

She then adds: “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad should be updated to recommend policy changes that will keep people and the planet healthy.”

Animal agriculture 

A recent report states animal agriculture accounts for ‘at least’ 87 percent of annual greenhouse gas emmssions. 

Climate Healers’ latest paper says focusing exclusively on the reduction of fossil fuel burning will ‘accelerate climate change… Potentially to the point of no return’. 

Moreover, it states that fossil fuels are currently the leading source of human-made CO2 emissions. But, climate change is caused by ‘cumulative human-made greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions – not just current CO2 emissions alone’.

The report also says: “We need to transition to a global plant-based economy first… Blindly eliminating fossil fuel usage first will accelerate the warming of the planet.”

You can read the full petition here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.