To mark its eighth and final debate of the final term of its historic 200th anniversary year, Oxford Union will debate veganism.
At its core, the ongoing ecological crisis is a leadership crisis. Like the mice in the children’s story, we are all standing around wondering who among us is going to take the lead and bell the capitalist cat before its quest for infinite growth kills us all. Fortunately, in this case, we can simply bell the Cow in the Room that’s feeding the cat.
The mainstream narrative has been to convince us that we don’t have the power to do anything about the Cow in the Room. The Non-Governmental Organizations featured in Cowspiracy and What The Health have been telling us that we can’t change the system by making personal changes. It’s a good thing that Mahatma Gandhi didn’t listen to such naysayers and provided a living example of how concerted personal action can shake the mightiest empire the world had ever seen in the Khadi movement.
The Vegan movement is to the 21st century world as Gandhi’s Khadi movement was to 20th century India. The Khadi movement was about securing liberation for Indians from the yoke of imperialism. Today, the Vegan movement is about securing liberation for all life from the yoke of systemic oppression.
The Vegan movement has the establishment all in a tizzy, especially in the UK. Consider the nonsensical assertion of the Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the conservative government, Therese Coffey, that vegan meats are for astronauts. Really? Then, there must be millions of astronauts in the UK today. Responded Robbie Lockie, co-founder of Plant-Based News, in an open letter to Ms. Coffey,
“It’s alarming that someone in your esteemed position is sidelining the urgent calls for a transition towards a more sustainable plant-based food system, especially amidst a climate crisis. The evidence is irrefutable: a plant-based diet significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces land and water use, and alleviates the suffering of countless animals. Yet, your comments mock a viable solution and belittle the efforts of individuals and organizations striving for a more sustainable future…
Your dismissive attitude towards plant-based meats is not only misinformed but incredibly irresponsible, given the environmental urgency we face. It’s high time for a more enlightened and forward-thinking approach to environmental policy, one that embraces plant-based alternatives as a viable and necessary step towards a more sustainable and compassionate world.
Your lack of environmental foresight is not merely disappointing; it’s a dereliction of your duty to both the public and the planet we inhabit.”
In fact, if the world goes Vegan, that would significantly ameliorate ALL SIX planetary boundaries that humanity has transgressed in the biogeochemical cycles of the planet – biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, nitrogen and phosphorous loading, climate change, land use and freshwater use in descending order of severity. Therefore, going Vegan is the Swiss army knife of environmental action and the worldwide governmental appeasement of the animal agriculture industry is surely a dereliction of duty. If those in established positions of power won’t address the Cow in the Room, we have to look elsewhere.
Enter the Oxford Union. A society that was formed in secret by students 200 years ago to protest the restrictions placed by the University establishment on freedom of speech, the Oxford Union has been meeting every Thursday during term to freely debate the issues that matter to students. Many eminent speakers have addressed the Oxford Union, from Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson and Mother Theresa to Sir Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II. It was at the Oxford Union that former President Nixon first admitted that he had screwed up on Watergate and Malcolm X demanded that we do “whatever necessary to achieve racial justice.”
On Thursday, Nov 30, 2023, the Oxford Union will be hosting a debate on the proposition, “This House Would Go Vegan” as the eighth and final debate of the final term of its historic 200th anniversary year. Presided over by Disha Hegde, the 40th female president of the Union during the 60th year since women were allowed to become members of the Union, this debate on a critical global action needed to secure the future of our planet for all life couldn’t be more consequential.
Along with Dr. Shireen Kassam and Joey Carbstrong, I will be speaking for the proposition. Among those speaking against the proposition will be media personality Katie Hopkins, who famously remarked in 2019 at the Oxford Union, “God help this debating society if vegans ever get in power.”
Well, the current President of the Oxford Union, Disha Hegde, who also signs her name in our common mother tongue, Kannada, on the Oxford Union Michaelmas 2023 term card, is unabashedly vegan.
May this assist us in our common quest to create a Vegan world by 2026.
Thank you for your support.
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Original source: https://climatehealers.org/