An organization named Gen V wrote an open letter to Rishi Sunak, the current Prime Minister of the UK to ask him to adopt a plant-based diet for one month. In exchange, the organization will donate 1 million pounds to the charity of Mr.Sunak’s choice.
Gen V or Generation Vegan is an organization that works to prompt healthier and more sustainable lifestyles and food systems. According to Gen V, sufficient, nutritious, and enjoyable food is a basic human right. They work with different communities around the world including displaced people, children, and people fighting for labor rights. They educate people about the nutritional value of plant-based meals and their environmental impact.
Gen V CEO Naomi Hallum said in the letter that according to the Natural History Museum, the UK is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries. Agriculture has covered 71% of the total UK land area among which 85% is dedicated to animal agriculture. It provides only 32% of the calories. If people were to feed a completely plant-based diet then it would require only one-sixth of the total land. This would leave a significant amount of land untouched by human consumption and free to natural restoration.
According to a recent farmers’ survey, almost 64% of them would transition into plant-based agriculture if they could receive the amount of support they get from farm animals. The World Health Organization said in the 21st century climate change is a real threat to global health. To fight against climate change we need to control the emission of Green House gases. Researchers said that if we all can adopt a plant-based diet then we can drop the food-related GHG emissions to 70%.
The UK should show the way to an alternative form of protein production. According to a report by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the UK holds almost a 1 billion pound market for plant-based food alternatives. Also, the government-commissioned National Food Strategy wanted to invest approximately 125 million pounds in sustainable protein start-ups. This will significantly reduce meat consumption and prevent the spread of diseases.
Recently an EPIC-Oxford study on 65,411 men and women reported that people who consume lesser amounts of meat were 37% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Lastly, Naomi wanted to draw attention to the UK’s dairy and meat farms where almost 1.2 billion land animals are killed to cater to our food sources each year. In the dairy industry, around 2.6 million cows are slaughtered cruelly for meat. According to EU research, almost 10% to 20% of dairy cows are pregnant when they are being killed. A recent viral video showed how male chicks are killed cruelly within days or hours after birth.
Naomi’s Gen V wanted to draw the attention of the Prime Minister of the UK to the unimaginable cruelty of the meat industry and how an alternative food source of protein is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.