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Renowned celebrities and vegan organization GenV have joined forces to advocate for the inclusion of an “Advance a Plant-Based Food System” category in the prestigious Earthshot Prize.

Launched in 2020 by Prince William and the iconic naturalist David Attenborough, the Earthshot Prize is a global initiative focusing on businesses around the world developing innovative and creative ways of battling climate change

It currently offers £1M each to initiatives aimed at protecting and restoring nature, cleaning our air, reviving oceans, building a waste-free world, and fixing our climate

However, the absence of a dedicated category focusing on animal agriculture and plant-based solutions has prompted a coalition of influential voices to rally for change.

Call to action

The open letter, spearheaded by vegan charity Generation Vegan (GenV), underscores the urgency of addressing the serious impact of animal agriculture on the planet.

Throwing their weight behind the letter is a group of 23 celebrities which includes Oscar winners such as Dame Emma Thompson, Olivia Coleman, and Mark Rylance along with actors, singers, and activists such as Annie Lennox, Sharon Osbourne, Alicia Silverstone, Gemma Whelan, and Chris Packham.

Their proposed category aims to acknowledge and celebrate initiatives that steer us toward a more sustainable and eco-conscious food ecosystem.

GenV’s CEO, Naomi Hallum, highlights that while the Earthshot Prize aligns with their organization’s mission, there remains a critical blind spot when it comes to recognizing “its devastating impact on the earth, air, waters, and climate.”

Chris Packham said in a statement: “Meat and dairy are having a huge and detrimental impact on our planet in terms of pollution, climate change, deforestation, and loss of wildlife. But when we eat plants, we reduce these impacts significantly. We need Earthshot to incentivize a plant-powered revolution!”

The imperative of a plant-based food system

The letter reads: “Producing food through animals is inefficient, wasteful, dangerous, and driving us towards climate catastrophe. It is the cause of unimaginable and unnecessary suffering for billions of animals, of zoonotic diseases, and dangerous antibiotic-resistant diseases.

“Furthermore, it works against every Earthshot goal on your list. That’s why we must revolutionize our broken food system if we want to save our planet.”

In line with Prince William’s vision for the Earthshot Prize, which aims to address pressing environmental issues, the letter emphasized the potential of promoting planet-friendly food systems through various means.

It added: “With innovation in plant-based foods and cultivated meat advancing rapidly, NGOs working to support public and private behavior-change initiatives, and decision-makers at all levels piloting and enacting policies that support a transition to more planet-friendly food systems, the potential to positively transform our world through diet is too great to ignore.

“Yet the people behind these solutions are not receiving the recognition they deserve, nor the support they need to create systemic change and global impact.”

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock farming is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, with methane being one of the most potent gases released. Methane is responsible for a third of human-caused emissions and is 80 times more warming than carbon dioxide in the first 20 years of its release.

The environmental impact of animal agriculture, however, goes beyond emissions. It also contributes to unsustainable land use, with grazing cattle occupying 26% of the world’s ice-free land. 33% of croplands are currently being used to feed farmed animals. This unsustainable use of land has led to deforestation, which destroys vital ecosystems and carbon sinks.

Climate action for the future

The fervor for a plant-based future is further stoked by the passion of youth climate activists. Young voices are echoing the urgency of this transition, recognizing that a plant-based food system is not just a choice but a necessity.

Greta Thunberg, a dedicated youth climate activist, once said: “When we think about the villains of the climate crisis, of course we think about the fossil fuel companies.

“But agriculture and land use together are about one-quarter of our emissions. This is huge.”

She added: “If we change towards a plant-based diet, we could save up to eight billion tonnes of CO2 every single year. We could feed ourselves on much less land, and nature could recover.”

Original source: https://www.totallyveganbuzz.com