As a constituent, and someone who cares deeply about animals, I wanted to get in touch to tell you why I believe we need to shake-up UK agriculture. I don’t want to see farmed animals killed for our consumption, however I’m aware that despite the recent growth in veganism, many people don’t yet share my views, so I want to highlight another important reason why we need to rethink animal agriculture.
Animal agriculture is massive contributor to climate change and environmental degradation. We know that animal farming contributes 14.5% of all GHG emissions globally - greater than the share attributable to the transport sector – and that we will struggle to keep temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius without a radical shift in meat and dairy consumption.
I believe that the threat of climate change and the importance of lowering greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades means that reducing our reliance on animal farming is a matter of urgency.
Encouraging farmers to move away from animal farming and towards growing plant proteins, crops like beans and peas, can be part of a solution for a genuinely sustainable farming future.
I want to see a world with no animal exploitation, and would like to see animal farmers transition to new ways of farming. However, the benefits of more vegan friendly agriculture go far beyond ethics. As a supporter of The Vegan Society I want to let you know about their work in this area.
The Vegan Society has worked with the New Economics Foundation to produce their latest report (see: https://www.vegansociety.com/growgreen), Solutions for the Farm of the Future, which looks at the opportunities plant protein crops can offer for our environment and public health.
The report highlights the need for UK diets to be sustainable, healthy, affordable and ethical – and how protein crops can help across all these areas.
The Grow Green report makes the following policy recommendations to government:
• Creation of a Protein Aid Scheme (subsidies for the farming of pulses)
• Making protein crops a focus of a new farm entry scheme
• Designating funding for the research and development of protein crops
• A farmed animal tax
• Increasing the serving of plant proteins in public canteens
I want to see the UK lead the way for sustainable and healthy food systems, and I believe that these policy recommendations would help us achieve that aim.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can build a more sustainable food and farming system in the UK, and I would be happy to arrange a meeting with my friends at The Vegan Society so we can tell you more.