The Center for Plant-Based Diet Development (CPDD) is a non-profit organization (Chapter 504, Iowa Code) that encourages individuals, research institutions, and government agencies to support plant-based diets as an important means of reducing global warming, environmental damage, health problems, world hunger, and the unethical treatment of animals.
Our mission is to educate the public about the environmental, health, and animal welfare benefits of plant-based diets so that the demand for plant-based foods will increase, allowing these benefits to be obtained.
We also strive to strengthen university research programs that encourage the development of plant-based diets, such as agronomy and food science projects involving dry edible beans, grains, and livestock-free organic farming. Advocating such projects is important because university agricultural research and extension programs shape consumer demand for products, often to the detriment of public and environmental health when wealthy livestock industries fund the research that perpetuates animal-based diets and tries to export them throughout the world.
Plant-based diets are founded on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts, with vitamin B-12 supplementation if the diet contains no animal products. Plant-based diets are healthful because they contain little saturated fat, little or no cholesterol, found only in animal products, and little or none of the carcinogens produced in meats during cooking. Numerous health institutions, such as the Harvard School of Public Health, advocate diets based on plants because most research has found that the typical Western diet high in meats, eggs, and dairy products increases the risk of heart disease and a variety of cancers, whereas plant-based diets reduce the risk.
An increased demand for healthful plant-based foods not only will improve population health, but also will allow the land to feed more people more efficiently, while causing less environmental damage and providing more usable energy. When people eat plant-based diets they enable farmers to shift cropland acres from livestock feed and hay production to the growth of food-grade grains and legumes, natural conservation areas, and biofuel crops such as grasses.
Last, but not least, lowering the consumption of animal products allows people to treat animals not as a means to an end, but as beings whose lives have importance and meaning to the animals themselves. Plant-based diets that lack animal products enable the most caring relationship with animals and the environment since they cause no domestic animals to be killed at a young age after confinement in erosion-prone, overgrazed fields and pollution-producing feedlots and factory farms that require vast areas of arable land to grow livestock feed.
We envision a future in which people choose plant-based diets to create a compassionate and sustainable society...one that not only benefits humans, but also sustains and protects non-human animals and the ecosystems to which we all belong.
Plant-Based Diets: Good for the Earth, Good for Animals, Good for You