In an unprecedented world first, four vegan societies representing the Vegan World Alliance are challenging their
leaders to try vegan for a month. It is time that more leaders commit to a low carbon lifestyle, encouraging their
cabinet and members of the public to reduce their animal product intake, ideally to zero. With world resources stretched
to beyond their limits, we have to start living within our biocapacity or planetary resource budget as soon as possible.
Going vegan is an easy and great start to this.
For your health, for the future generations, for the sake of the environment and of course, to prevent the needless
suffering of animals, we are calling on all people to try vegan. There is one leader in New Zealand parliament on this
issue, and that is Gareth Hughes, the longest standing Green MP in parliament.
With a plethora of vegan foods readily available in supermarkets and most cafes and restaurants offering vegan options,
there is no reason for anyone to not be plant-based. Lack of supply is no longer an issue. The health benefits are
clear, with many cancers being prevented, heart disease and type 2 diabetes reversed and many people finding greater
energy, better recovery times and good weight loss as side effects of going vegan. The Vegan Society Aotearoa has
already presented Jacinda Ardern with vegan cheese, which she apparently enjoyed, along with others in the office. We're
asking Kiwis to join Jacinda today and take the vegan challenge!
Take the Month-long Challenge to Help Climate Crisis
Dear Prime Minister,
The world is in climate crisis, our young people fear for their future, now more than ever we need strong leadership
from our heads of government.
With that in mind, the Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand, part of the Vegan World Alliance, calls upon you to join
other world leaders in shifting to a plant-based diet, starting on November 1st, World Vegan Day. By doing so, you will
send a strong message by acting with conviction and taking the necessary steps to avoid a climate catastrophe, something
we are extremely close to experiencing.
There are a number of factors causing our atmosphere to become carbon saturated and act like a giant greenhouse: fossil
fuels, deforestation, acidification of the oceans, animal agriculture. There are many things that need to be done to
tackle climate change, for example, government legislation to hold corporations accountable for their emissions.
Unfortunately, our lifestyle and economy have increasingly become reliant on animal agriculture, which is a major
offender. However, the fact remains that according to innumerable reports the global population must drastically reduce
their dependence on animal agriculture if we want a sustainable planet for the future. Each of us is accountable and
it’s not only a solution that everyone can easily incorporate, it’s a necessity.
The reality is that ruminant animals produce a lot of methane during their digestion processes, and our planet is out of
balance with ruminant animals being bred in excessive numbers. This is driving our methane emissions higher, and methane
is the greenhouse gas we most need to take effective action against.
Methane is a short-acting greenhouse gas, unlike carbon dioxide—the effects of which we are currently witnessing, came
from what we put in the atmosphere 30 years ago. We have been pumping more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
since then! Our need to ACT is absolute and dire!
Limited World Resources
The world can feed more people without animal agriculture. The United Nations has stated that
“Land-use change has had the largest relative negative impact on nature since 1970, followed by the direct exploitation,
in particular overexploitation, of animals, plants and other organisms mainly via harvesting, logging, hunting and
fishing. In marine ecosystems, direct exploitation of organisms (mainly fishing) has had the largest relative impact,
followed by land/sea-use change.”
We have to stop squandering precious resources such as arable land and water on producing animals. The quicker we can
adapt to changing our diet on a global level, the quicker we can address this climate emergency.
Veganism is a worldwide growing movement and more people are turning to it as they see the need to reduce our resource
use. It takes far too much land to produce animals as food for humans, to the extent that human actions threaten more
species with global extinction now more than ever before.
The world is a beautiful ecosystem that relies upon balance to keep it working in a manner that is safe for life. We
have destroyed that balance, and we are doing very little to address the imbalance. We need those wild spaces, we need
to reforest, we need to stop polluting, we need to stop using fossil fuels.
But there is one simple act each person can take right now. It requires no special training or legislation, only a will
to do it: Change what we eat.
Time is of the essence, we have a very short time frame to initiate lasting changes that will enable us to turn this
crisis around. We have to plant more trees and grow more plants in general. We have to stop cutting down the remaining
trees and we have to reduce our resource use so we only use up one planet's worth, not three. Animal agriculture is an
industry that can no longer be sustained. The planet is close to a tipping point, a point of no return. We have had more
than 30 years of talk—now we need action.
Please, for the sake of humanity, will you change to a vegan lifestyle starting on World Vegan Day? It is vital that
people shift away from animal agriculture to decrease the overwhelming demand on the planet’s resources, for their own
health and to end animal exploitation. You can lead the way.
We are more than happy to meet up with you and answer any questions you may have.
The Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand
P.S. We know that such a challenge can seem daunting on your own, so we encourage you to ask your cabinet to join you
and truly become world leaders by being the first government to try vegan. In 2016, some members of a Danish political
party completed a 22 day vegan challenge to highlight the issues of climate change.
to try our Kiwi vegan challenge