WORKING FOR A HEALTHIER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE WORLD

BE PART OF THIS CHANGE!

A PROGRAMME OF MERCY FOR ANIMALS ASIA

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS PROGRAMME BY PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS WILL DELIVER THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS EACH YEAR:

>10 MILLION

meals impacted

>6,500 HECTARES

of land preserved (equivalent to more than 6,500 regulation soccer fields)

>100 MILLION

litres of water saved (equivalent to more than 1.8 million average showers)

>21 MILLION

tonnes of CO2 emissions prevented (equivalent to a car driving back and forth between Hong Kong and Beijing 40,000 times)

WHY?

According to renowned health organisations, low consumption of fruits, grains, and vegetables and high consumption of animal products heightens the risk of various diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and is directly related to serious environmental problems, including deforestation and excessive water use.

These issues are particularly pertinent in Hong Kong, whose 144 kg annual per capita meat consumption exceeds that of any country in the world. Daily consumption of meat, fish, and eggs is more than double the Department of Health’s recommended limits, while consumption of livestock has been found responsible for an estimated 50 percent of Hong Kong’s total consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions.

With these problems in mind, countless institutions in Hong Kong and around the world, in partnership with programmes such as Conscious Eating Hong Kong, and following the guidelines of organisations such as the U.N. and publications such as the Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2016), have implemented new food policies to boost the consumption of plant-based foods and reduce the consumption of animal products.

Take a look at some of the key benefits of this change!

HEALTH

Lower intake of saturated fat

Reduced cholesterol levels

Lower risk of developing several types of cancer

Lower rates of hypertension

Lower rates of obesity

SUSTAINABILITY

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Reducing impact on biodiversity

Conserving water

Decreasing deforestation

Supporting fairer forms of production

BROAD SUPPORT FOR CHANGE

“In a world where more and more people adopt a Western diet—one that’s high in meat, dairy and processed food—producing crops to feed our livestock is putting an enormous strain on our natural resources and is a driving force behind wide-scale biodiversity loss.”

“Eating meat less often (e.g. going meat-free one to two days a week) or in smaller portions can yield co-benefits for health and tackling climate change. Such change can reduce individuals’ carbon footprint on one hand and decrease the chance of developing chronic diseases on the other hand.”

“If you’re striving for a long, healthy life, getting your protein from beans, nuts, and grains is a better bet than getting it from meat or eggs, new research finds.”

“We should all be ... focusing on enjoying more plant-based delights. I personally try to eat vegetarian 2–3 times a week.”

SEE WHO’S ALREADY ON BOARD

HONG KONG

SHEUNG SHUI DELIGHTS STUDENTS WITH DELICIOUS PLANT-BASED LUNCHES THREE DAYS PER WEEK

True to its name, Fung Kai Innovative School in Sheung Shui has proved itself to be at the forefront of innovation, serving plant-based lunches to its over 700 students three days per week. Principal Yvonne Li believes the school “has a responsibility to cultivate healthy and caring students” and was thrilled that the programme gave students a practical opportunity to understand how food, nutrition, and the environment interrelate. Fung Kai Innovative School is one of hundreds of Hong Kong schools and restaurants introducing new plant-based options and actively reducing quantities of meat and other animal products served.

HONG KONG’S LEADING RESTAURANT CHAINS THROW THEIR SUPPORT BEHIND THE MEATLESS MONDAY MOVEMENT

Hong Kong’s hospitality industry has enthusiastically embraced the Meat Free Monday movement, with major chains, including Cafe de Coral, PizzaExpress, and Caffè Habitū, offering delicious plant-based menu items in response to consumer demand for sustainable dining options. The international brand and marketing director for PizzaExpress declared that the shift stemmed from a desire to “help protect our planet” and encouraged “everyone to think about the right choices and adopt small steps to make a big difference.”

HONG KONG GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES EATSMART@SCHOOL CAMPAIGN

In 2006 a coalition of organisations and agencies, including the Education Bureau, joined forces to launch the EatSmart@school campaign, citing diet’s role in preventing chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Promoting increased fruit and vegetable consumption is a core component of the programme, whose nutritional guidelines also suggest a need to limit meat content in school lunches. Department of Health surveys have found that 94 percent of Hong Kongers aged 15 and above consume inadequate amounts of fruit and vegetables, emphasising the need to “cultivate healthy eating practices so that children can grow healthily and learn effectively.”

GLOBAL

MAJOR NORTH AMERICAN CITIES AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS JOIN THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT TO REDUCE MEAT CONSUMPTION

In 2012 Los Angeles joined Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Vancouver in passing a groundbreaking resolution urging institutions and citizens to cut back on meat consumption as a comprehensive health and sustainability measure. Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the U.S., serves over 700,000 meals per day and is just one of dozens of U.S. school districts committed to serving meat-free meals on Mondays. Now students all across North America are enjoying tasty and familiar meals that are both good for the environment and better for their health!

BRAZIL’S LARGEST CITY IMPLEMENTS HISTORIC MEATLESS MONDAY PROGRAMME

The city of São Paulo, Brazil, has committed to a meat-reduction strategy across its entire public school system, which serves over 1 million meals to students per day. One day a week, schools substitute meat-based dishes with flavoursome, familiar meals packed with plant-based protein and other essential nutrients.

U.K. AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE GLOBAL MEAT-REDUCTION MOVEMENT

The U.K. Meat Free Monday campaign was launched by the renowned McCartney family in 2009, following the release of a U.N. report that declared meat production a critical contributor to global climate change. This successful campaign has the support of notable institutions, including University College London, Regent’s Park and Pembroke colleges (Oxford University), and the City of Liverpool, which now serves at least two meat-free meals per week to public school students. According to a Mintel survey, millions of Britons are already reducing their meat consumption.

WHO WE ARE

Responsible food choices are critical to maintaining good health and securing the planet’s future.

Conscious Eating is a programme of Mercy For Animals, a nonprofit that promotes a healthy and sustainable food system. We work with chefs, nutritionists, and professionals in the food industry throughout Hong Kong and around the globe to incorporate plant-based dishes into the menus of government institutions, schools, universities, and companies. By simply replacing 20 percent of meat and other animal products with healthy and delicious plant-based foods, you can save money for your institution, promote good health, and protect the environment for future generations.

HOW WE WORK

In accordance with national and international food guidelines, we recommend replacing at least 20 percent of animal products served in cafeterias and restaurants like yours with healthy and nutritious plant-based options.

NO COST TO YOU

As a nonprofit advisory programme, we provide all consulting, training, and materials for you at no charge.

SPECIALISED TEAM

As a Conscious Eating Hong Kong partner, you will have the support of nutritionists and chefs specialised in plant-based cuisine, with decades of expertise in menu planning, recipe creation, and training chefs.

COMMUNICATION

We provide your institution with informative materials that illustrate the environmental and health benefits of reduced consumption of animal products.

MEDIA

We have an in-house PR team that can work with you to obtain positive media coverage of your commitment to promoting health and sustainability.

SEAL

As a participating institution, you will receive a Conscious Eating certification, which will attest to your global leadership in promoting sustainable and healthy food choices.

JOIN US

DO YOU WANT TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSCIOUS EATING PROGRAMME IN YOUR INSTITUTION OR MUNICIPALITY? DO YOU HAVE CONTACTS IN THESE PLACES YOU CAN CONNECT US WITH? FILL IN THE FORM BELOW, AND WE WILL CONTACT YOU.

OUR TEAM

ALAN DARER

Director of Food Policy

Alan Darer manages an international food-policy team working in Brazil, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, India, and Asia. As a global director, he is responsible for the strategic development and expansion of the Conscious Eating programme around the world. Alan understands that climate change and health are global issues but that effective changes happen locally.

TSE YIP FAI

Food Policy Specialist

As a Hong Kong local, Tse Yip Fai deeply knows the eating habits of Hong Kong’s people. Tse holds a degree in chemistry and understands how eating, our health, and our environment are intimately related. Tse knows that Hong Kong’s eating habits need to change for the sake of the city’s people and the planet. For these reasons, he works passionately in his role as food policy specialist to move Hong Kong towards a healthier and more sustainable future.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Dr Irene Lo

Specialist Surgeon

Dr Irene Lo is a licensed surgeon practising in Hong Kong. She is an esteemed medical consultant to the Asia Pacific Vegetarian Union and the Hong Kong Vegetarian Society and is the author of a highly praised book on plant-based nutrition.

For 20 years, Dr Lo has studied healthy vegetarian diets, combining her own medical background with research in the fields of medicine, nutrition, biology, and environmental ecology to develop a formula for a healthy plant-based diet emphasising whole and raw foods. She hopes that all people will be able to live out their lives with vitality and free of preventable illnesses and cancers, by maintaining healthy, whole-foods-based diets.

Peggy Chan

Managing Director and Executive Chef, Grassroots Pantry

Founder, managing director, and executive chef of Hong Kong’s leading plant-based dining destination Grassroots Pantry, Peggy Chan is an environmental activist whose passions for sustainability and healthy living extend beyond the kitchen. After obtaining a degree in the culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa followed by a bachelor’s in business administration and hotel, restaurant, and resort management from Hotel Institute Montreux, Peggy worked in established institutions of the hospitality industry before founding Grassroots Pantry. Her advocacy is widely recognised and most recently she was awarded the title of Sustainability Champion by T.Dining 2018.

Sonalie Figueiras

Founder And CEO, Green Queen & Ekowarehouse

Sonalie Figueiras is the founder and editor-in-chief of Green Queen, Hong Kong’s largest eco-wellness media platform, advocating social and environmental change using original, inspiring Asia-centric content, and the founder and CEO of Ekowarehouse, a global business-to-business organic sourcing platform. Sonalie has over a decade of journalism experience covering health and environmental issues, with a strong focus on food’s potential to be part of the solution. As an industry veteran, Sonalie is a regular on the international speaking circuit, frequently sharing her expertise on stages across Asia and beyond.

Dr Vincent Lee, PhD

Registered Chinese Medicine Physician

Dr Vincent Lee is a Chinese-medicine physician registered in Hong Kong. Dr Lee has previously been a lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is currently lecturing part time at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Dr Lee is both a clinician and expert in classic Chinese medicine. He adheres to the traditional concepts of Chinese medicine, specialising in the school of Zhang Zhongjing. He is a vegetarian committed to beginning with oneself and is a passionate promoter of Chinese medicine; a simple, green life; and whole body and mind healing.

Sharon Chan, MS, RD

Accredited Dietitian, Spokeswoman of Hong Kong Dietitians Association

Sharon Chan is a registered nutritionist in the United States and an approved dietitian of the Hong Kong Dietitians Association (spokesperson 2015–2019). She holds a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science and dietary treatment and a master’s degree in nutrition and general health, and she is a passionate advocate for nutritional health education.

Sharon Chan has been a guest lecturer at notable academic institutions, including Hong Kong Baptist University, the Hong Kong Cancer Foundation, and the Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education. She was previously a lecturer in nutrition at Hong Kong Adventist College, and the majority of her clients are members of the Fortune 500. Sharon often collaborates with traditional Chinese-medicine clinics and NGOs and is a passionate promoter of the principle that “prevention is better than cure.”

Grace Wong

Speech Pathologist and Recipe Book Author

Grace Wong is a registered speech and language pathologist, mother of two, and plant-based cookbook author. Grace has been a vegetarian/vegan for over 22 years and has personally experienced the many benefits of vegetarianism, veganism, and the raw-food lifestyle. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge of choosing healthy food and eating healthily.

Dr Carmen Tong

Lecturer and Researcher, HKU Sociology Department

Carmen Tong is an education sociologist with research expertise in schooling and student culture in Hong Kong. Because of her interest in the growing field of human-animal studies, Carmen has developed a new course at HKU about human-animal relationships, conducted numerous knowledge exchange activities with younger Hong Kong students, and organised various events on animal rights for the public.

RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE

“The city’s residents are among the biggest meat consumers in the world, which is the main reason for Hong Kong’s high greenhouse gas emissions per capita.”
“Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date.”
“Hospitals that provide and promote fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are likely to reduce readmissions, speed recovery times, and measurably improve the long-term health of visitors, patients and staff.” —Dr James Loomis, medical director of the Barnard Medical Centre in the U.K.