About this Challenge Team

Transitioning to a fully plant-based diet, is on average the single most impactful lifestyle change we can make as individuals to reduce our impact on the environment and to eliminate the suffering and death of over a trillion animals each year. The climate crisis can only be tackled by reevaluating our relationship with food, with careful consideration of how different sources of nutrition impact greenhouse gas emissions, land use, freshwater use, freshwater pollution and biodiversity.

For clarity, 26% of global emissions are attributed to food production [1]. A plant-based diet has the potential of reducing this burden by over half. Livestock accounts for 77% of all agricultural land and supplies a mere 18% of the world's calories. That is 39% of all habitable land on earth [1]. This inefficiently used land holds great under appreciated potential. Rewilding of forests and grasslands could cultivate the natural carbon sinks and wildlife habitats that these industries have destroyed at scale. 10 cows, 18 sheep, 47 pigs, 2200 chickens and an estimated 32000 fish are killed every second for food [2]. Is that necessary? According to the American dietetic association a balanced vegan diet is healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases [3-4].

The conclusion is that the consumption of animals is just not necessary for those of us who have the privilege of choice. When considering how highly detrimental animal agriculture is to our world, and the victims of these industries, we plead that our taste is not more important than life. Not the life of sentient-beings, nor that of our planet.

We are motivated by the availability of sustainable plant-based food options here at Imperial. We plan to use a mixed method approach of surveying, with use of qualitative and quantitative questions, which we would like to pose to all staff and students, especially those who regularly use the catering services. An understanding of our community's perspectives is central to communicating and educating effectively. We plan to engage with those in charge to encourage Imperial's transition to plant-based catering, which is in line with the values of sustainability and welfare that ICL, and us as individuals hold. Thus by raising awareness, our aim is to uncover the dissonance between the hidden consequences of our actions and the positive impact we really wish to have.

Team Members

  • Abu Taher Muhammad Abdullah (Cohort 8)
  • Rosie Dowell (Cohort 7)
  • Ruthie Parsons (Cohort 8)
  • Juan Rivillas Garcia (Cohort 8)
  • Alex Smith (Cohort 8)
  • Luca Weller (Cohort 8) - team captain
  • Ben Winchester (Cohort 7)