Louise Davies discusses the #BackBritishFarming campaign from a vegan perspective.
Apparently yesterday was #BackBritishFarming day. Props to the NFU's campaigns team who mobilised a bunch of MPs and influencers to show their support on social media. Much of this appeared to be driven by Sue Hayman, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Ms Hayman even managed to get a great photo-opp with some of her fellow shadow ministers. Notable by their presence are vegan MP, Christina Rees, and widely reported vegetarians Jeremy Corbyn (shock, he may even eat the odd vegan meal!) and Cat Smith. Other veggies Keir Starmer, Tom Watson and David Drew may have missed the memo.
So can a vegetarian or vegan #BackBritishFarming in all good conscience? Well, whether we’re omnivores, vegetarians or vegans, the obvious fact is that we all eat food. Plant-based food is grown or farmed on our land, and many of us would like it to be produced by British farmers. At The Vegan Society we want to see a thriving farming sector, one which grows the food on our plates, food that meets all of our nutritional requirements, and we want this to be done in a vegan way. We want to see farmers moving away from livestock farming - which is not only unnecessary and cruel, but is hugely detrimental for the environment and brings health concerns - and moving towards plant protein agriculture.
Plant protein agriculture means growing things like beans and pulses, and we'd also like to see the development of new food sources such as lupins and hemp.
Our first Grow Green report outlined our vision for sustainable farming and we're delighted to be launching a second report next month which develops this vision into suggested government policy.
We hope to be meeting with Sue Hayman and her colleagues at the Labour Party Conference where we'll discuss these issues, and we'll be launching the report in full the following week at the Conservative Party Conference.
We hope you will join us and #BackBritishVeganFarming.
By Louise Davies
Head of Campaigns & Policy, The Vegan Society.
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