Animal rights advocates want meat industry emissions on COP26 agenda

Around 50 cows in a circle being milked in a factory
Cows in a milking carousel on a farm in Russia, photo: Alexander Ryumin/TASS

Animal rights protesters from around the world marched in Glasgow on Saturday in an attempt to get meat and dairy industry emissions onto the UN climate change conference COP26 agenda. 

Politicians, animal rights and plant-based food advocates, led by the Dutch political party Party for the Animals, called on governments to tackle the animal farming industry that causes more emissions of greenhouse gasses “than all cars, ships, trucks, trains and airplanes combined”.

“The march was amazing. It’s clear many citizens in Glasgow and Scotland support the animal rights movement and want a much-needed food revolution, but the issue is being ignored during COP26,” Anja Hazekamp, member of the European Parliament and Party for the Animals, said in a statement.

“By 2030, it looks like the livestock sector is going to use up almost half of our emissions’ budget’ – more than cars, ships, trucks, trains and airplanes combined – yet it’s barely mentioned during COP,” Hazekamp said.

“Nobody in power is talking about the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. I hope one of the outcomes of COP is that governments take action and stop subsiding the meat and dairy industry,” Elaine Docherty from Glasgow, who has been vegan for 12 years, said. 

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth… It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” Oxford University environment and agriculture researcher Joseph Poore said.

Almost 79,000 people have already signed the #FoodRevolution petition calling for action on the animal farming industry’s negative impact on climate and nature.

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