Sustainability Series with Tobias Leenaert

“Meat the Future: a Discussion about Alternatives to the Challenges of Animal Agriculture”

Tobias Leenaert
Author, speaker and educator

Wednesday November 8th 2023 | 6:15 pm | Forum Rolex

  • 6:15 pm
    Doors opening
  • 6:30 pm
    Welcome words
  • 6:40 pm
    Talk by Tobias Leenaert
  • 7:10 pm
    Talk by Alice Fauconnet, co-founder of vegan creamery New Roots
  • 7:30 pm
    Roundtable with:
    • Tobias Leenaert
    • Alice Fauconnet
    • Christian Schwab, Director of Integrative Food & Nutrition Centre at EPFL
    • Sophie Hanessian, co-founder of Vege’tables
  • 8:00 pm
  • 8:10 pm
    Aperitif networking and tasting

Globally, animal products consumption is the highest it has ever been. Its rise comes with consequential risks of zoonotic and chronic diseases, environmental impacts, food insecurity and intense suffering to farmed animals.

Considering the unprecedented climate crisis that we are facing; it is a scientific consensus that humanity must drastically turn away from animal agriculture[1,2]. Although commonly considered central to the environmental impact, the geographical origin of food turns out to be almost negligible, the type of food consumed being the main factor in the ecological impact [3].

In this conference, Tobias Leenaert, prominent speaker, educator and author on the subject, will delve into these challenges surrounding the exploitation of animals, while also explaining how advocacy and alternatives to animal products (plant-based, fermentation, and animal cell cultivation) can be leveraged for creating positive change.

Tobias Leenaert’s presentation will be followed by another by Alice Fauconnet, co-founder of vegan creamery New Roots, about her example of a hopeful reconciliation between current Swiss dairy culture and the urgent turn away from animal husbandry. The conference will end with a roundtable and Q&A with additional guests: Christian Nils Schwab, Director of Integrative Food & Nutrition Centre at EPFL and Sophie Hanessian, co-founder of Vege’tables.

Afterwards, a free tasting of alternative proteins will be provided to guests.

This event is co-organized by the Alternative Protein Project EPFL and Unipoly’s EVA (Étudiant.e.s vegan.e.s animalistes).

[1] Springmann M. et al., “Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits”, 2018, Nature, Vol. 562, pp. 519–525.

[2] Poore J., Nemecek T., « Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers”, 2018, Science, Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp.987-992.

[3] Weber, C. L., & Matthews, H. S. (2008). Food-miles and the relative climate impacts of food choices in the United States.

Tobias Leenaert is a Belgian author, speaker, educator and activist whose work is based on the transition away from animal-based food.

He is the co-founder of several organizations, notably ProVeg International, a food awareness organization working with a broad range of parties – from decision-makers to the general public – to transform the global food system. ProVeg is a member of the UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and is accredited for the UN Environment Programme. The organization has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award in 2018.

He is also known for being at the origin of Ghent becoming the first town in the world to go officially veggie once a week (Thursday Veggie Day).  He is a longtime speaker and strategist with experience in building bridges, giving talks and training all over the world.