However you look at it, there is no longer any wiggle room when it comes to making the connection between our appetite for meat, dairy, and eggs and the health of the planet.
Globally, the livestock system occupies nearly half our land and uses 23 percent of freshwater supplies. On top of the massive amount of resources we’re using to fuel our eating habits, animal agriculture also takes a toll on the environment.the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent. Thankfully, it seems like politicians and leaders are finally taking a stand for the planet — and they’re realizing that the easiest way to do this is to change the way that we eat.
A vegetarian for all of his adult life, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labor Party in the UK, is one of the politicians leading the way in the fight for the planet and for animals. For example, in 2015, he appointed vegan politician Kelly McCarthy as the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, a position that sustainability, conservation, pesticides, and animal welfare. And in a recent press statement, Corbyn said, “If elected leader, I pledge that a Labor government in 2020 will continue to advance our animal welfare protections so that they are the best in the world – and I hope that you will hold me to that pledge.” Not only does Corbyn want to be a champion for animal rights in the UK, he wants to help vegan businesses grow. VegNews reported that on Tuesday, the politician tweeted, “We are announcing plans to aid plant-based food manufacturers later this week.”
We’re excited to see how somebody like Corbyn, who has long been a supporter of animals and the planet, plans to help vegan businesses grow. We’re also happy to see so many politicians standing up for the planet in recent months. At last week’s annual Seed & Chips Global Food Innovation Summit, a gathering of global entrepreneurs, investors, and executives who are focused on exploring innovation, trends, and solutions in the food system, President Barack Obama said that he thinks we should be eating less meat in order to fight climate change. In Germany, Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks recently had meat banned at official functions in order to set a good example for climate protection.
Hopefully, Corbyn’s plan to support plant-based food manufacturers will inspire governments in other nations to do the same.
We, of course, don’t need to wait for the government to make a positive change for the planet and ourselves. If you’re interested in learning more about how your food choices can help the environment, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.
Lead image source: Ms Jane Campbell/Shutterstock