This year, World Vegan Day is a special one, as it coincides with the beginning of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), bringing together countries worldwide to discuss how we tackle the climate crisis.
This is crucial to the work that we’ve been doing for the vegan movement – given the current political climate, our best opportunity to advocate the system change required to support a transition to a vegan world is to highlight how our current way of living has contributed to the existing crisis.
Our involvement at COP26 allows us to bring our long-campaigned environmental case for veganism to the forefront of the minds of not only UK policymakers but global leaders and activists too. It’s a great opportunity to really highlight the role of animal agriculture and the need for dietary change, as we aim to present solutions – both incremental and explicit – which will support a reduction in the usage of animal products on a global platform.
From a policy perspective, we’ve adapted recommendations that we’ve highlighted from our Planting Value in the Food System report which we launched earlier this year. These include a greater investment in research and development in legume crop production, consistent leadership to enable a transition to plant-based diets and a Food Sustainability Bill that will embed Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
But that’s not all – we’ll also be promoting our public-facing Plate Up for the Planet campaign at COP26 to show that individuals can take action and change what they eat to make a positive impact on the environment whilst governments continue to deliberate. We’ll be sharing this message on billboards, buses, bikes and the underground, as well as with live events in the city centre, official government space, and in collaboration with bluedot. Our COP26 events page shows where we will be throughout COP26, including our activities at the Green Zone, which is a great place to head to if you have questions about the positive links between veganism and the environment.
This conference proves that when it comes to climate, the world is all ears – so there’s no better time to be actively involved – sign petitions, join the marches or promote our activity on social media, to shout about the importance of this transition for a more environmentally-friendly world. Visit our COP26 Hub to find out more about why we are attending COP26 and why it’s important.
But remember that you can support the transition to a vegan world on a day-to-day level too. World Vegan Day is great time to remind people that opting for vegan products is a more sustainable lifestyle choice. Remind them to look for the Vegan Trademark on products and menus when shopping or dining, for the peace of mind that products carrying our trademark contain no animal ingredients and aren't tested on animals.
So today feels particularly inspiring – it’s the amalgamation of all that we’ve all collectively worked so hard for, being promoted on a world stage, aiming to bring justice to the lives of animals but also to people who will suffer from the catastrophes of climate change. We might not change the world overnight but it feels like one step closer. Happy World Vegan Day!
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.