There’s no denying 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, industrialized 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. 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 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, the committed vegetarian tweeted earlier this year that he plans to help plant-based businesses grow.
And now, Corbyn has recently suggested he is in the process of eating more vegan foods! “I eat more and more vegan food and have more and more vegan friends. There are quite a lot of vegan MPs actually – not a lot, but there are some,” Corbyn told cruelty-free beauty brand, Lush when asked if he was turning vegan.
Corbyn continued his discussion of eating more vegan foods by stating, “The food has got a lot better and vegan food – one of my close relatives has just become a vegan and I went to her house for dinner and it was absolutely brilliant. So I’m going through the process, all right? I won’t go any further than that.”
This is certainly a step in the right direction! British daily newspaper, The Guardian defended Corbyn by saying that, “Vegans should be encouraged: their choice is high in moral as well as digestive fiber.” In fact, it seems that they were so inspired by Corbyn’s actions and motives that they publicly have endorsed eating a vegan diet. Not too shabby!
And we couldn’t agree more, with the plant-based food sector is currently valued at $5 billion, it’s clear that the move away from animal products is largely due to consumers’ rising concerns about animal welfare, personal health, and importantly, sustainability. As we approach a population of 9.8 billion by 2050, we are being forced to answer the question of how we’re going to feed the world without completely exhausting all our natural resources. With this in mind, we’d all be wise to heed Corbyn’s message!
Ready to cut back on your meat and dairy intake? 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: Chatham House/Flickr