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The Greenwashing of Animal Agriculture

October 26, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This event is part of the University of Alberta’s Sustainability Awareness Week.

There is a well established body of evidence showing that diets based heavily on animal products are not sustainable, and that a transition to a much more plant-based food system is imperative in order to address climate change, land and water use, pollution, and zoonotic infectious diseases. But the animal agriculture industry has responded by creating and funding its own research, similar to the tobacco and oil industry. This industry-funded research has had a major impact on confusing the public about the extent to which animal agriculture poses an environmental risk that needs to be addressed by a transition to a more plant-based food system.

In this session our speakers will discuss with us some of the ways in which the animal agriculture industry has been disseminating misleading research and how this research has misled the public about the needed policy responses to our unsustainable animal-based food system.

Speakers will speak for the first hour followed by interactive discussion.


Vasile Stanescu on “‘Urgent Action Is Required’: Animal Agriculture, Greenwashing, and Climate Change,” and

Tushar Mehta on “The Myth of Regenerative Grazing”

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Vasile Stanescu is associate professor of Communication Studies at Mercer University. Stanescu is co-editor of the Critical Animal Studies book series published by Rodopi/Brill, the co-founder of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies (NAACAS), the former co-editor of the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, and former co-organizer of the Stanford Environmental Humanities Project. Dr. Stanescu is the author of over 20 peer-reviewed publications on the critical study of animals and the environment. Dr. Stanescu’s research has been recognized by The Woods Institute for the Environment, Minding Animals International, The Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Culture and Animals Foundation, the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, and the Institutul Cultural Român (Institute for Romanian Culture), among others.

Dr. Tushar Mehta studied at McMaster University and then completed medical school and residency at the University of Toronto. Currently, he practices Emergency Medicine and has also spent many years practicing Family Medicine and Addictions Medicine. Dr. Mehta also participates in international health projects, having volunteered on a yearly basis in rural India, and is now doing work in Haiti (hephaiti.com). Over the past five years, Dr. Mehta has taken a strong interest in the medical evidence regarding plant-based diet and health, as well as the comparative impact of plant versus animal based agriculture on environment and food security. He studies the academic literature regarding these subjects in order to develop a comprehensive understanding, and works to educate others on these important topics. Along with a small team, Dr. Mehta founded Plant Based Data (plantbaseddata.org), an online database which collects and organizes the most important academic and institutional literature regarding the impact plant diet has on health, environment and food security, including the role of animal agriculture in creating pandemics. This includes a section on economics and policy. The resource is free to access, and meant to assist others in their education, writing, advocacy and policy work.

SDG Connection: # 2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15

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October 26, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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