By removing meat from our plate we can clear methane from our planet, is what the celebs are saying in a nutshell. They have urged the leaders at COP26 to get tough on animal agriculture and enable the shift to a plant-based food system.
A group of celebrities has urged world leaders at the COP26 conference in Glasgow to adopt the 'Plant Based Treaty' to avert climate catastrophe.
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Beatles singer-songwriter Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella, actors Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, and Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Ela Gandhi have called for halting animal agriculture and deforestation and shifting to a plant-based food system.
They join vegan artiste Moby, actors Peter Egan and Jerome Flynn and scientists and leaders in encouraging the international community to shift to a plant-based diet.
“Animal agriculture is a major polluter yet leaders have largely ignored it. It’s time to get tough on ranching to reverse the devastating polluting effect it has on our planet. We urge (UN) secretary-general (Antonio) Guterres to remove dirty animal agriculture from our food systems,” Fleur Dawes, Communications Director for In Defense of Animals, a partner of the Plant Based Treaty, told New Musical Express (NME).
Also read: World Vegetarian Day: Why this vegan superfood should be on your plate
What is the Plant Based Treaty?
Grassroot activists have launched an official plant-based campaign alongside the UN climate conference. The campaign pits food systems at the forefront of combating the climate crisis. The initiative, modelled on the fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, seeks to halt degradation of critical ecosystems by promoting healthier, sustainable plant-based diets.
It plans to stop expansion of animal agriculture and deforestation by incentivising a shift to a plant-based food system through subsidies and public information campaigns. Campaigners have urged scientists, individuals, groups, and businesses to pressurise governments to negotiate an international plant-based treaty.
“Increasingly people are recognising that meat, dairy and egg consumption are driving carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, the three major greenhouse gases -- now we need COP26 delegates and other leaders to acknowledge it,” Anita Krajnc, global campaign coordinator of the Plant Based Treaty, told NME.
How it works
The Plant Based Treaty functions on three core principles: Relinquish, redirect and restore. The campaign wants individuals to relinquish building new animal farms and slaughterhouses or expand of existing animal farms; halt clearing of forests or other ecosystems for animal grazing; protect indigenous people; and ban live exports.
To achieve these, governments should declare a climate emergency and place food security as a priority to end poverty. The campaign also seeks to prioritise a switch to plant-based foods in climate action plans. Governments should also roll out reforestation projects in appropriate ecosystems to restore habitats.
What the celebrities say
Electronic artiste Moby posted a video message earlier this month saying: “We face a climate catastrophe and especially a methane emergency. We need to strike a global agreement about a shift to a plant-based food system this year at COP26.”
The McCartneys, who launched the Meat Free Monday campaign in 2009, said: “We believe in justice for animals, the environment and people. That’s why we support the Plant Based Treaty and urge individuals and governments to sign it.”
Also read: Young Turks: Millions of potential consumers prefer non-violent meat, says Gooddot's Abhishek Sinha
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First Published: Nov 9, 2021 8:11 PM IST