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Local governments supporting plant based eating

Updated: Nov 6

This article lists some actions local authorities are taking to reduce meat and dairy consumption, including: local government policies, public sector catering, school catering and education, business help, communication, libraries and setting up staff networks.

Why?!

Chatham House states that governments must lead on efforts to address meat consumption, as the amount people currently eat is unsustainable. The Vegan Society offer specific advice for local governments.


An academic from Oxford University described eating more plant based food as the biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth. It was even described as imperative for surviving the climate emergency by one academic from the IPCC. This is because meat is a key contributor to global warming, according to reports from Oxford University and Leiden University. Having less animal agriculture will make a great impact on carbon emissions.


More plant based eating has been given as an effective way to reduce carbon footprints by academics from: C40 Cities, Imperial College London, Lancaster University, Lund University, Project Drawdown, Scientists for Global Responsibility, University College London, University of East Anglia and the University of Leeds.


Individuals can pledge to eat more plant based food, and receive support from: Count Us In, The Jump, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Trust for Sustainable Living.


Policy

Government food advisor, Henry Dimbleby recently recommended we encourage a reduction in meat consumption to tackle climate change, in an interview with The Guardian. In a further article, the newspaper evaluated the pros and cons of different policies to accomplish this. Ideas included: a supply- side tax, subsidy changes, advertising standards, eco labelling, changes to supermarket layouts and catering portion sizes, and feeding additives to cattle. Read more about policies in Eating Better or Chatham House.

Politicians in Germany and the Netherlands have already considered meat taxation as a response to the climate emergency. Revenue raised from the tax could be redistributed as a benefit and subsidies to make healthy food more affordable, and farming practices more sustainable.

  • Endorse the Plant Based Treaty

  • Take The Jump

  • Join Count Us In

  • Become a Veg City


Council Catering

  • Provide only plant based catering to councillors attending council meetings

  • Provide plant based options at council run events

  • Require all procurement contracts to include two meat free days


Schools

School advice is available from: Sustain, Pro Veg School Plates, Kale Yeah!, Veg Power, The Vegan Society catering and vegan inclusive education, Vegan Inclusive Education, Eco-Schools.

These curriculum linked picture books and learning resources could help explain reasons to change eating habits.

  • Require plant based options at school meals

  • Reduce meat content of meals, and introduce Meat Free Monday

  • Introduce a weekly plant based day and daily plant based options

  • Suggest plant based school food on the council website