Animal rights parties call for food revolution during global COP26 weekend of action
In Glasgow and across Europe, political parties for animal rights and our planet took to the streets to join the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. Their message: in order to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, we need to stop investing in the livestock industry. “The livestock industry causes more emissions of greenhouse gasses than all cars, ships, trucks, trains and airplanes combined. There is no way to ensure zero-emission without tackling factory farming”, explains Anja Hazekamp, member of European Parliament of the Dutch Party for the Animals.
With world leaders gathering in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, the Dutch Party for the Animals and the Animal Welfare Party UK joined forces with NGO’s like Humane Society International, Viva, Proveg International and people from the Plant Based Treaty to put livestock industry emissions onto the COP26 agenda and to call for a food revolution.
While livestock production will account for half of the world’s greenhouse gasses by 2030, this is barely being discussed in climate debates and side-lined from climate change policies. In order to put this ‘Cow in the room’ in the spotlights, Party for the Animals and Animal Welfare Party politicians joined campaigners and activists from all over the world during the Fridays for Future climate strike and the Global Day of Action climate march in Glasgow. They managed to open the Fridays for Future climate strike and get attention from local and (inter)national press with their four meter high Earth prop.
As scientists warn, the production of beef alone is responsible for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. “More importantly, if we changed our diets, particularly focusing on a plant-based diet, we could cut global emissions by more than a quarter”, says Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore, one of the speakers at the COP26 fringe conference which the parties organized in Glasgow in addition to the marches.
Vanessa Hudson, the leader of the UK’s Animal Welfare Party, said: “If we want to stay at the 1.5 degrees temperature rise level, we need to stop factory farming.” And, she added: “it’s important governments lead the way, in the UK and around the world. Only governments can decide where to deliver subsidies”. Currently, billions of euros of EU-subsidies are directed to promoting the meat and dairy industries, instead of investing in fair, sustainable, animal friendly and more plant-based food.
COP26 side event #FoodRevolution in Glasgow
Party for the Animals and Animal Welfare Party also organised a side event during the COP26 climate conference last Sunday, on the topic of food and climate. Speakers from all over the world talked about what food has got to do with the climate crisis and how we can all help build a food system that keeps us all healthy and safe.
The public got up to speed on the latest in food and climate, social justice, eco-centric politics, post-growth economics, and the power of lobbying. Politicians from Party for the Animals (Christine Teunissen and Anja Hazekamp) and Animal welfare Party (Vanessa Hudson) explained the role of the unique and growing international political movement for the protection of animals and our planet: the animal politics movement. “We are not the average politicians. We are basically activists occupying seats in politics. And we need more activists to join us”, stated Member of European Parliament Anja Hazekamp.
Next to scientists like Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore and economist Miklós Antal, the event was full of representatives of positive grass-roots initiatives like Dusan Pajovic (Montenegro, Green New Deal for Europe, DiEM25), Silke Bölts & Juliette Tronchen (youth-led campaign for climate friendly, plant-based food at COP), Seb Alex (Lebanese Vegans), Tomi Makanjuola (The Vegan Nigerian, chef and blogger), Anna Danyliak (Ecoaction Ukraine), Olena Baran (Open Cages Ukraine), Josha Omonuk (Rise Up Movement Africa, Uganda) and Rebecca Knowles (Farmers For Stock-Free Farming).
You can watch back the livestream on Facebook and YouTube. In two weeks, videos (with subtitles) and information of each of the speakers separately will be made available on the COP26 #FoodRevolution event page.
Courtesy pictures: Alasdair Watson.
Courtesy globe-prop used during marches in Glasgow by Party for the Animals and Animal Welfare Party UK: Big Beasts – The Creature Creators, Wales.