Eating for a Healthy Planet: A Conversation with Canadians has been produced as part of the Human Dimensions of Climate Change programme at the University of Victoria.
While the content is predominantly Canadian – including interviews with the country’s Green Party leader, Elizabeth May – the maker of the 55-minute documentary, Holly Cecil, a vegan campaigner and writer, says it celebrates all meat-free campaigns around the world.
Our own Meat Free Monday makes an appearance, of course, with footage of MFM founder Paul McCartney addressing the European Parliament in 2009, as part of the “Less Meat, Less Heat” initiative.
Despite recent good news that Vancouver is to have its first Meat Free Monday, the environmental news from Canada is not all good, says Cecil.
“British Columbia has a progressive carbon tax, but otherwise our federal government is notorious for being the only country to pull out of the Kyoto Accord. Neither federal nor provincial climate change initiatives make any reference to diet as a significant way individuals can reduce their carbon footprint,” she says.
“Several vegetarian organisations and our Meatless Monday Canada team are the only voices at present. The win/win benefits to not only the environment but also health care – with plant-based diets known to reduce heart disease, diabetes, several types of cancer, and obesity (currently at a shocking 23 per cent, with 60 per cent of Canadians overweight) – make this negligence incomprehensible.”
The decision of many of the Canadian interviewees to eat greener is contrasted with their government’s refusal to engage with the issue of industrial livestock farming and overconsumption of meat, including Canada’s misleading reporting of its greenhouse gases emissions.