The Impact of a Plant-Based Diet: Learning How We Can Tread Lighter on the Environment

Posted on Friday June 21, 2024

We are living in the Anthropocene, a time when human activities are the primary drivers of the climate crisis. Everything humans do on the planet leaves a footprint; so why not take a step in the right direction? 

In the Diets and their Environmental Impacts course, you can discover crucial insight into food consumerism, and the powerful actions you can take to measure and acknowledge your own impact.   

This important course jumps right into what matters and provides a vast array of information that can help you drive change. Often overlooked, topics related to meat consumption—such as deforestation to keep up animal feed agriculture—and the startling amounts of water required to maintain livestock are explored. Did you know that more than 1,800 gallons of water are required for one pound of beef compared to 43 gallons for pulses like beans, lentils, and peas? 

The global shift towards a Western diet, characterized by highly processed and calorie-dense foods, is also examined. 

Throughout this course, you can expect instructor presented content, reliable and current research, and guest speaker videos—such as Jason Hannon, associate professor in the Department of Rhetoric, Writing and Communications, University of Winnipeg. He discusses the Canadian identity ties to beef consumption and its negative environmental impacts. 

Dr. David Cleveland, environmental studies research professor, University of California, explores the environmental implications of food choices, and the benefits of a plant-based diet over animal agriculture.  

Everything humans do on the planet exacts a footprint and imposes consequences. Knowing that land and water resource use and emissions can be significantly reduced by decreasing or eliminating meat consumption and adopting a plant-based diet is important to remember. 

Become part of the solution and learn more about how plant-based diets can help us tread lighter on the environment. Diets and their Environmental Impacts begins Monday, July 8, 2024.