Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Great Would This Be...?

The Secret Plans to Turn Us All Vegetarian
By SEAN POULTER

Secret plans to encourage the nation to give up eating meat are being examined by the (UK)Government.

A leaked e-mail expresses sympathy for the environmental benefits of a mass switch to a vegan diet - a strict form of vegetarianism which bans milk, dairy products and fish. The change would need to be done "gently" because of a "risk of alienating the public", according to the document.

The extreme policy is being examined on the basis it could make a major contribution to slowing climate change.

Farm animals are blamed for producing huge amounts of the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide.

However, the National Farmers' Union has ridiculed the idea as "simplistic".
The e-mail, sent to a vegetarian campaign group, comes from an official at the Environment Agency, a Government advisory body.

It states: "The potential benefit of a vegan diet in terms of climate impact could be very significant."

However, it does recognise that it would be very difficult to win public support for such a move.
Consequently, it says the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is looking to encourage a gradual change that would be more palatable to the general public.

The e-mail states: "It will be a case of introducing this gently as there is a risk of alienating the public majority."

The official goes on to say it is "unlikely" that the Environment Agency would ever suggest adopting a fully vegan lifestyle.

But the e-mail added: "Certainly encouraging people to examine their consumption of animal protein could be a key message."

The proposals are the latest in a raft of measures being promoted as helping to slow climate change.

Others include putting windmills on rooftops, driving electric cars and banning plastic bags.
The e-mail was sent to the campaigning vegetarian organisation Viva, which argues that it is more efficient to use land to grow crops for humans, rather than feeding them to farm animals and dairy cows.

Viva director Juliet Gellatley said: "I think it is extraordinary that a Government agency thinks becoming a vegetarian or vegan could have such a positive impact for the environment yet it is not prepared to stand up and argue the case.

"There is a growing awareness that our diet directly affects the world around us - and that vegetarians and vegans contribute far less to the destruction of the environment. For our planet's sake there is an urgent need to move away from a meat and dairy-obsessed Western diet."

NFU communications chief Anthony Gibson rejected these claims as "simplistic and flawed".
"This is not a black and white issue," he said.

"You have to look at how these crops are produced in terms of the energy used for growing and transport."

From The Daily Mail


Can you imagine the whole of the UK becoming vegan?! I don't think it's ever going to happen, but I can still dream... :)

19 comments:

Johanna said...

I am really pleased to see that article as when I hear all the discussion on climate change and wonder why there is no discussion of how meat contributes to global warming. I think we should encourage people to eat less meat - after all in World War II in Britain people often had to have meat and egg substitutes, didn't they?

bazu said...

Oh my god... it might be a dream, but what a wonderful dream! In my moments of optimism, I always say, in 100 years everyone will be vegan (or dead) because we can't keep going the way we are!

laura jesser said...

Hmm.... interesting! You're probably right--not gonna happen anytime soon--but really, SOMETHING's gotta give somewhere down the line. I read an article about factory farming and the environment, and the quote that stuck with me was, "We're eating our planet to death." I wish people would stop ignoring that and be forced to stare their choices in the face!

Keira said...

This article kind of creeped me out. And all of the enthusiastic responses also. The idea of forcing people (even gradually) to do Anything is against my code of ethics. I'm a vegetarian and I agree that it is healthier for people to not eat animal products, but people need to make their own choices. To me, it is simply wrong and also does not work to try to force people to do things they don't want to do. I also think there are many more effective ways to fight climate change.. but that's a different thing altogether.
I like your blog! Even if we don't have the same opinion! : )

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

How exciting that they are even considering and contemplating such a movement!! Very encouraging indeed. I hope the US will take a tip from this -- maybe with the next administration?! Hope your move is going well! :o)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

PS - it reminds me that the Dali Lama has encouraged/challenged the nation of Tibet to go veggie for the next year...

It's catching on, I say! :o)

scottishvegan said...

Johanna, I agree. It’s rare to hear meat production mentioned in discussions about global warming even though it contributes to the problem more than transportation according to the UN. Its crazy isn’t it?!

bazu, you think it is optimistic to think that we will all be dead in one hundred years?! ;) I suppose the animals will be happy about that though :)

laura, let’s keep our fingers crossed that things like this article will wake people up a bit!

Keira, I don’t think the point of this is to force people to become vegan, but rather to encourage them not to consume animal products. Although, personally I think it would be preferable for people to be forced to be vegan than for animals to be forced to live and die in the sick and miserable conditions that they currently do.

Vicki, thanks, our move is going pretty well! Not long to go! I heard about the Dali Lama encouraging Tibet to go veg...you are right – it’s catching on!!!

Pia K said...

How completely interesting to read and encouraging! Just the kind of "small" thing that gives one hope of a future for mankind:)

OnlinePharmacy said...

nJAWwA Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

online no prescription for meridia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cheapest in motel saltlake ut said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
name said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bollman tour said...

Hello all!

alaska helicoptor tours said...

Thanks to author.

yacht racing insurance said...

actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

ringtones said...

Hello all!

said...

Good job!

cialis order say said...

S9all8 Thanks to author.

wwe free ringtones for d said...

Wonderful blog.