Haywards Heath, a town of 34,000 in West Sussex, is encouraging residents to cut out animal products to help fight the climate crisis. The town recently made history when the town council signed up for The Plant-Based Treaty, making them the first UK city to do so. The treaty is an initiative aimed at encouraging leaders to move societies away from animal products and toward plant-based diets.

Source: Plant Based Treaty/Youtube

A Green Party town councilor, Dr. Richard Nicholson, said, “The southeast of England has endured the highest ever summer temperatures in history and people’s properties have been destroyed by fire and flood.”

“We cannot wait for governments – we must all act immediately – and moving to a plant-based diet is the most impactful thing any individual can do to help address the grave situation we face.”

The treaty is a companion to the international Paris Agreement. They aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and halt the destruction of important ecosystems caused by animal agriculture. They also aim to promote a healthier shift to sustainable plant-based diets.

“We are urging scientists, individuals, groups, businesses and cities to endorse this call to action and put pressure on national governments to negotiate an international Plant Based Treaty,” the organization says.

Sir Paul McCartney and Joaquin Phoenix backed the treaty along with the city of Buenos Aires in Argentina. To read more about the Plant-Based Treaty, check out their website.

Factory farms are extremely unsustainable and harmful to our planet. They cause mass deforestation, account for 37 percent of global methane emissions, and use 70 percent of the world’s freshwater. Even though the animals are kept in inhumanely cramped spaces, it takes quite a bit of land to grow food to feed these animals, and thus, large swaths of forest are cleared to make room for livestock feed. Furthermore, the animals’ waste may be kept in large lagoons, which not only take up space but also pollute water and air. As a result, meat and other animal products, like dairy, are extremely harmful to the environment.

Plant-based foods generally have a much smaller environmental footprint than meat. One study found that a serving size of meat is responsible for 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions and 100 times more land use than a serving of veggies. According to the study, “Producing a serving of processed red meat has the second-highest mean impact on acidification, GHG emissions, and land use and the third-highest mean impact for eutrophication.” Another report found that people who eat meat daily produce 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide annually, as opposed to 1.5 tons for vegetarians and 1.1 tons for vegans.

Choosing to eat vegan and live a vegan lifestyle does not harm animals, is better for your health, and is better for the environment!

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