Working for Peace on Earth and Peace with Earth since 1952
According to the UN’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a mass shift to a plant-based diet is, “crucial for mitigating climate change.” Further, not only is animal agribusiness one of the biggest drivers of global warming, both through direct methane emissions and through the destruction of carbon-capturing, oxygen releasing trees in order to clear pasture land, it is also cited as being a leading cause of water depletion, water pollution, ocean dead zones, ocean depletion, air pollution, zoonotic diseases, topsoil erosion, and species extinction. It is, unquestionably, a total ecological catastrophe, and a threat to all of life on earth.
Yet, not only is the UN not taking action to facilitate the transition to a plant-based food system, but in fact the UN’s own Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) continues to serve an advisory role in the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL), a multi-partner livestock industry stakeholder alliance comprised of multinational corporations, NGOs, governments, international research institutions, and civil society groups created to produce greater quantities of meat, dairy and eggs through industrializing and vertically integrating animal agriculture globally, under the guise that this will be more “sustainable” to meet consumer demand as populations increase in the coming decades than more traditional forms of farming animals.
In other words, the Agenda’s goal is to create more factory farms, more slaughterhouses, and to consolidate that industry into being controlled by just a few multinational corporate meatpacking giants–JBS, Cargill, Tyson, Mafrig, Smithfield/WH Group, Hormel, National Beef Packing Co., Purdue, and Pilgrim’s Pride among them. Through foreign investments, including the US taxpayer-funded construction of factory farms and slaughterhouses in places as far away as Ethiopia, the Agenda is coercing rural small farmers, peasants, and migrant workers (themselves often displaced indigenous victims of corporate land grabs) to become contractors and workers for these massive corporate conglomerates, thus further centralizing control of the global food supply, further entrenching the world in animal agribusiness and consumption, further directing grains that could be used to feed humans to feed farmed animals instead, further endangering human and ecological health, and causing the suffering and death of trillions upon trillions of animals. Worse still, this set-up has been criticized as a new form of global sharecropping, because small farmers worldwide are being forced into paying themselves for the equipment needed to supply these corporate monoliths as independent contractors, causing them to go into debt and be unable to escape the industry even if they want to due to what they have initially invested into it–the very same debt peonage system that has caused farmers here in the USA to fall into debt and even eviction.
At NO point is the possibility of simply helping farmers and populations transition to producing and consuming plants rather than animals even being considered.
We call on the UN to follow the advice of their own IPCC and STOP ACTIVELY FACILITATING THE GLOBAL INTENSIFICATION OF ANIMAL AGRIBUSINESS! We call on the UN to OPPOSE the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock and all of its subsidiaries, to OPPOSE the idea that an increase in animal consumption is inevitable, and instead use its power and its resources to support locally-controlled agroecology/ plant-based food sovereignty, and to support farmers and workers who want to get out of animal agribusiness to transition to producing crops for direct human consumption instead. We also call on the UN to facilitate the restoration of freed-up land to displaced communities and rewilding. By transitioning to a global plant-based food system, we could free up a land mass the size of the entire continent of Africa.
Additionally, we the people can do much to facilitate this transition ourselves without having to wait for government action, both individually and on the community level. Here are some things you can do to directly help facilitate the transition to ecological renewal through a plant-based food system:
1. Go vegan/plant-based: According to an Oxford University study,52, adopting a plant-based diet is the “single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact”. Many organizations offer free support, including individual mentoring and courses, in learning how to transition, from Peace Advocacy Network (peaceadvocacynetwork.org) to Vegan Outreach (veganoutreach.org).
2. Create and/or support existing vegan/plant-based mutual aid and food justice initiatives, from Food Not Bombs, which has a chapter in most cities, to groups in other parts of the country and world, including Thrive Baltimore, Food Empowerment Project, Chilis on Wheels in NYC, Detroit Black Food Security Network, Mariposas Rebeldes in Atlanta, Vegans of LA, Lebanese Vegans Social Hub in Lebanon, Casa Vegana in Puerto Rico, Vegan Village Society in Uganda, Plant the Land team in Gaza,
3. Get involved with or start a local community garden or food forest.
4. Request plant-based/vegan meals at your school, workplace, local hospital, restaurants, etc. Offer to help them with ideas and resources on how to go about offering plant-based meals.
5. Hold local film screenings at your local library, school, workplace, community center or at home of films exposing the role of animal agriculture in the ecological crisis, such as “Cowspiracy”, “Seaspiracy”, or “Eating Our Way to Extinction”, or offer to teach courses on plant-based cooking. The organization Climate Healers, which focuses on the role of animal agriculture in the climate crisis, can help provide educational materials.
6. Start or support habitat restoration efforts and local animal/wildlife sanctuaries, involving children to teach the next generation to respect all life.
7. Support groups like Faunalytics which strive to shift tax subsidies from funding animal agriculture to plant foods. Because raising and slaughtering animals is so resource intensive, the actual price of “meat,” milk, and eggs is far costlier than that of growing plants for human consumption, which is why poor countries eat the fewest animals and wealthy countries consume the most. Thus, taxpayer subsidies are poured into the animal exploitation industries to artificially lower costs, making many believe it’s eating plants that’s expensive!
8. Support efforts to help ranchers and farmers who want to transition to plant farming to be able to do so, such as the Rancher Advocacy Network, Miyoko’s Dairy Farm transition Program and Transfarmation.
9. Get involved in human liberation movements for prison abolition, Black Lives Matter, No Human Is Illegal, and #LandBack that address the injustices underlying the exploitation and victimization of marginalized communities by the animal agribusiness industry, and how human, animal, and ecology liberation intersects.
10. Finally, get involved in the communalist movement, which is building a strong inter-communal dual power movement to decentralize the food system, build a solidarity economy and public assembly-based direct democracy, regenerate ecosystems and place power in the hands of local communities. For more information, check out Symbiosis Revolution, Cooperation Jackson, and the Institute for Social Ecology.
11. Finally, join Promoting Enduring Peace and get involved with our efforts to create Peace on and with Earth! For more info., visit our website at pepeace.org.
from PEP Administrator's opinion piece in Hearst newspapers like the Connecticut Post 9/2/2023
" We should also start doing something about another big source of emissions, those coming from raising animals for food, principally cows. Our meat hungry culture would rather not think about this, but animal emissions are enormous. Food reporter Melissa Clark writing in the New York Times in July said that studies show “the production of meat and dairy products — particularly from cows — emits as much carbon each year as all cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined.” Many factors are involved, gases directly coming from animals, methane from manure, forests cut down to make grazing land, etc. and they are not going to be dealt with by technical fixes. Instead we need to move to plant-based diets, consuming little or no meat. "
What is a Plant-Based Diet- NYT Food writer, Melissa Clark, July 27
How Meat Contributes to Global Warming - Scientific American - 2009