From: Peace Advocacy Network
Published May 19, 2015 09:25 AM


The unprecedented recent Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee strongly recommends a shift toward plant-based foods not only for health reasons, but also for environmental reasons.   To the dismay of the meat industry, the report states, “a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact.”   

Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, a longtime vegan and registered dietitian, adds, “these foods add precisely those protective factors against heart disease, diabetes and obesity in which the average American diet is sorely lacking.  Meanwhile, plant-based diets limit or eliminate much of the risk factors for these diseases which are so prevalent in the average American diet.”   Rifkin adds that deliberate policy changes, along with steady dietary changes, are necessary if we are ever going to have a viable health care system---not to mention the significant benefits against climate change, worldwide drought, and loss of bio-diversity. 

Individuals interested in making the change to a vegan lifestyle can find support from Peace Advocacy Network (PAN) through the free PAN Vegan Pledge program.  Rifkin has discussed nutrition with PAN Vegan Pledge participants in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, DC.  PAN is currently taking registration for Vegan Pledge programs scheduled for Summer and Fall of 2015 in Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C. as well as a new virtual program that participants anywhere in the world can access through free interactive webinars.  Leila Vaughan, PAN’s President said “We are enthusiastic about the USDA considering the Scientific Committee’s report and the impact of what we hope will be official recognition that a vegan diet is healthful and far better for the planet.  Our goal is to help people transition smoothly to a vegan lifestyle, which is better for animals, the environment and human health.”  While the PAN Vegan Pledge was formed with an eye to the end of animal use, participants who join for health or environmental concerns are equally welcomed.  Registration and additional information about the PAN Vegan Pledge are available at

Contact Info: Leila Vaughan

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