Get Started Search Icon

A Healthy Vegan Diet Can Save Our Planet

Updated January 22, 2021


The McDougalls brings you our second of many online discussions on climate change and our future. Planet Earth can still be saved, but only by substantial changes in the foods we choose. Cleaner energy and transportation are vital, but not enough to reverse the devastation that has already transpired since our enlightenment almost 50 years ago. This means we must accelerate the global trend to eat fewer cows, pigs, chickens and fish; and more of the corn, rice and potato meals we love. Over half of the greenhouse gases are generated by agriculture, with the guilty finger pointed purposely at animal agriculture. Most encouraging is science revealing the enormous impact that this seemingly minor act will yield: There can be an 80% reduction in this source of pollution overnight by changing to a vegan diet, as taught by the McDougall Program.

Let the conversation between the science supporting a plant-food-based, life-sustaining diet for people and the health of our planet begin. We are launching a series of lectures focused on real-life, practical, almost cost-free changes that you can employ to shine an optimistic light for a prosperous future.

-John McDougall, MD

Join us on Saturday, January 30, 2021 for our next mastermind with six world experts.

Host – John McDougall, MD

Moderator – Heather McDougall

This event was recorded and available on our YouTube channel. 

Click here to watch.




Rupert Read
Prof. Rupert Read teaches Philosophy at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, working alongside some of the world’s leading climate scientists. He is also an author and a climate and environmental campaigner, appearing regularly on the UK’s top media outlets, and speaking internationally including at Davos. 

A long-time advocate of animal rights and welfare, Prof Read is a freegan who speaks in favor of veganism but also of some people eating some flesh from the wild, as a means to help the planet. 

His books include This Civilisation is Finished: Conversations on the End of Empire — and What Lies Beyond and Parents for the Future – How Loving Our Children Can Prevent Climate Collapse (released January 21, 2021).


Beth Love
Rev. Beth Love has been creating luscious, vibrant foods that deeply nourish on all levels—palate, body, planet, heart, and soul—for over four decades. She is a gifted teacher and speaker, ordained New Thought minister, personal coach, and author of the Tastes Like Love book series. Beth has brought a message of transformation to multiple audiences with her speaking and facilitation skills, in contexts as diverse as the California state prison system, schools, churches, businesses, radio, local community television, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is known for her fierce commitment, wise counsel, strategic mind, and huge capacity for love.

Rev. Beth’s life calling has taken many twists and turns, but has always been centered on human transformation. She has taught in and run Montessori schools, helped to found a New Thought church and served in various capacities in that community for over 20 years, run non- profit organizations focused on the topic of child abuse, and done extensive volunteer work with prison inmates.

Her current focus is the development of Eat for the Earth, an organization that supports a human dietary shift towards more plants and less animal products to sustain all life on Earth. Learn more and find out how you can get involved at


Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M.
Dr. Melanie Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, relationship coach, and communication specialist and she is the world’s leading expert on the psychology of eating animals and the psychology of veganism. She is the award-winning author of six books, including Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows; Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters; and Getting Relationships Right. Melanie is the eighth recipient of the Ahimsa Award – previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela – for her work on global nonviolence. Her work has been featured in major media outlets around the world, including the BBC, ABC Australia, NPR, and the New York Times, and she has given talks and trainings in over 50 countries.

Melanie Joy is also the founding president of the international NGO Beyond Carnism, whose mission is to expose and transform carnism — the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat animals — through awareness raising and The Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA). CEVA works to increase the impact of vegan advocacy worldwide and to help create a more resilient and empowered movement. It’s provided trainings and consulting across six continents, helping advocates build communication, outreach, strategic thinking, and relational literacy skills. You can learn more about Melanie’s work at and 


Jeremy Lent
Jeremy Lent is an author whose writings investigate the patterns of thought that have led our civilization to its current crisis of sustainability. He is founder of the nonprofit Biology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview, both scientifically rigorous and intrinsically meaningful, that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the Earth.

Born in London, England, Lent received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He initially pursued a career in business, founding an internet startup and taking it public.

Beginning around 2005, Lent began an inquiry into the various constructions of meaning formed by cultures around the world and throughout history. His award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, published in 2017, traces the deep historical foundations of our modern worldview.

Lent’s upcoming book, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe, offers a coherent and intellectually solid foundation for a worldview based on connectedness that could lead humanity to a sustainable, flourishing future.

Lent writes topical articles exploring the deeper patterns of political and cultural developments at Patterns of Meaning.


Brenda Davis
Brenda Davis, registered dietitian, is a leader in her field and an internationally acclaimed speaker. As a prolific nutrition and health writer, she has authored/co-authored 12 books with nearly a million copies in print in 15 languages. Her most recent works include Nourish: The Definitive Plant-based Nutrition Guide for Families (co-authored with Reshma Shah, 2020), Kick Diabetes Essentials (2019), The Kick Diabetes Cookbook (2018), Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition (2014) and Becoming Vegan: Express Edition (2013). Both Becoming Vegan books and Nourish have won awards, including the Canada Book Award. Brenda has been a featured speaker at medical and nutrition conferences in over 20 countries on 5 continents. She is also co-author of several peer reviewed journal articles. Brenda is the lead clinical nutrition specialist for the diabetes intervention project in the Marshall Islands. Brenda is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In 2007, she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Brenda lives with her husband Paul in Calgary Alberta, Canada.


Gidon Eshel
Gidon Eshel is a research professor of environmental physics at Bard College and runs the website He is best known for his work quantifying the geophysical consequences of agriculture and diet. Most recently, he has compared various livestock in terms of land and water use, fertilizer-based water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions per unit product and compared the global-warming consequences of different beef-production strategies (including grass- versus trough-fed beef). His widely varied scientific interests also include the development of algebraic tools for simultaneous optimization of health and environmental outcomes through dietary choices, climate physics, and measures of time scale–specific ecosystem stability.

At Radcliffe, Eshel is collaborating with scientists from the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on developing multi-objective metrics of diet. The metrics combine disparate environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions or water and land use) with health outcomes (e.g., cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases or diabetes) in a manner most suitable for using in optimizations designed to improve public health while easing environmental burdens.


Climate Change Mastermind – Schedule
January 30, 2021. All times are in PST.

8:00 – 8:10 AM – – Heather McDougall & John McDougall, MD – Welcome & Introduction

8:10 AMRupert ReadWhy Veganism and Anti-Waste Freeganism are Vital for Reducing Ecological Harm

8:30 – 8:40 AM – John McDougall, MD & Rupert Read –Q & A

8:45 AMBeth LoveThe Choice Before Us: Change Our Diets or Perish 

9:05 -9:15 AMJohn McDougall, MD & Beth Love – Q & A 

9:20 AMMelanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M.Why People Resist Becoming Vegan – And What We Can Do to Change This

9:40 AM – John McDougall, MD & Melanie Joy – Q & A

10:00 AM – Panel Q & A – McDougall, Read, Love & Joy 

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Break

1:00 PM Heather McDougall & John McDougall, MD – Welcome Back

1:10 PM Jeremy Lent – Plant-Based Diets as Part of the Great Transformation

1:30 PM – 1:40 PM – John McDougall, MD & Jeremy Lent – Q & A

1:45 PM – Brenda Davis – Red Alert – Triple Threat – The Story of the Marshall Islands

2:05 PM – 2:15 PM – John McDougall, MD & Brenda Davis – Q & A

2:20 PM – Gidon Eshel – The Environmental Argument for Plant-Based Diets 

2:45 PM – 2:55 PM – John McDougall, MD & Gidon Eshel – Q & A

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Panel Q & A – McDougall, Lent, Davis & Eshel

This event was recorded- click here to watch.