It’s time to shake up UK agriculture. The future of humankind is threatened by climate change and our food and farming system is a huge part of the problem. We urgently need to rethink the food we produce and grow, and question why we are subsidising such an environmentally damaging sector as animal farming.
Animal farming is one of the leading contributors to climate change and environmental degradation. At least 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal farming. What’s more, the agricultural sector is the number one culprit for water pollution, and is projected to make the smallest contribution towards meeting the UK’s 2050 carbon emission target.
The bottom line is that the agricultural sector is not doing enough to reduce its negative impact on our planet. There is a solution. We can feed our growing population sustainably with plant protein crops (pulses like peas and beans). These wonder crops provide everything we need in terms of nutrition and environmental benefits. If we want a system that produces, sustainable, healthy, affordable, and ethical food for everyone, then a shift towards growing protein crops provides a win-win-win-win.
The Vegan Society wants to stop animal agriculture for the damaging effects it has on animals and the planet. Encouraging farmers to take up growing protein crops for human consumption will benefit everyone, but how can we get farmers growing green?
Reward sustainable farming:
Farmers should be rewarded for growing sustainable, environmentally-beneficial crops like pulses. Growers should be given a payment per area of land they use to grow protein crops.
Let’s get growing:
We all need farmers to put food on our plates. An entry scheme to get more people into farming, and growing protein crops, is essential if we are to feed our growing population sustainably. We should offer access to land, training and give support for start-up costs.
Discover the power of plant proteins:
Research can help unlock the true potential of plant proteins. Canada is now the world’s largest producer and exporter of pulses because of their investment into research and development. Similar investment should be made into the research and development of UK protein crops.
No more hidden costs:
The health and environmental costs associated with animal farming should be included in the final product. A meat tax, or a farmed animal tax, aimed at making farming animals less desirable, should be implemented. At the very least, let’s reduce the subsidies given to animal farmers to reflect the damage they cause.
British pulses for all:
An emphasis on vegan dishes containing British pulses within public sector canteens would help stimulate the market. We should introduce a scheme that ensures all public sector canteens are providing at least one vegan dish and any containing pulses should be UK grown.
Give peas a chance:
The large farming lobbies do not represent current and future protein crop growers. We can give them a voice by asking policy makers to consult with them on farming policy.
We need your help in getting our Grow Green report into the hands of decision makers. Here are some ways you can help to spread the word.
Email your political representative today to let them know why we desperately need to shake-up UK agriculture.
Personalised emails are more likely to be read and taken seriously by your political representative. Need inspiration? Click here to copy our template letter to your clipboard, giving you an idea of points you may wish to raise.
Send the Grow Green report. Send the Grow Green report to your elected representative and ask them to support our policy recommendations. You can find your MP, MSP, or MLA here. You can find your AM on the Welsh Assembly website.
Share success stories. Share plant protein agriculture success stories with your representative to let them know that people from around the world can successfully produce crops for human consumption without any animal inputs. Click here to download.
Share your experiences. Please email campaigns[at]vegansociety[dot]com with any responses you receive, or to get in touch if you would like help lobbying your respective representative.
Keep up-to-date. Follow Grow Green on Twitter to receive update on the campaign. Why not get in touch with your political representative through social media as well. Don’t forget to tag your MP, MSP, AM, or MLA, and include #GrowGreen in any posts.
Donate. With your help, we can promote this issue to more decision-makers and farmers. To donate, just text VGN44 followed by your donation sum (e.g. £10) to 70070 now. You can donate in other ways here. Thank you.
Here are some suggested Tweets:
#GrowGreen report by @NEF for @TheVeganSociety says that a farmed animal tax is needed to account for health, environmental & intrinsic losses. More info: https://ctt.ec/ew47t+ pic.twitter.com/6K4LmWWNr1
Protein crops represent win-win-win-win in terms of being sustainable, healthy, affordable & ethical. Find out more in @TheVeganSociety Grow Green report written by @NEF: https://ctt.ec/5PWEO+ pic.twitter.com/2hLXzqD4Fp
The UK currently assigns only 16% of its agricultural land to growing protein crops, much of which are used to feed farmed animals. @TheVeganSociety #GrowGreen report outlines how we can change that https://ctt.ec/jctdf+ pic.twitter.com/Ys2ZIwUSmE