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  • Writer's pictureLivingwWarmth

Local governments supporting plant based eating

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

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: Eastleigh Council meat reduction email list, Count Us In, The Jump, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Trust for Sustainable Living, Drawdown Ecochallenge, Eden Project, Veganuary website and emails, Vegan Society app, Animal Aid website and emails, Viva app, Plant based health professionals emails, The vegan approach website, Meat Free Mondays website.


There are some nice infographics here.


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

  • Enable children to help create plant based school menus, or recieve a cooking workshops


Business

These plant based business resources could help local plant based businesses. The Vegan Society also suggested rates reductions.

  • Promote plant based business accelerator programs

  • Use blogs to promote plant based markets

  • Use blogs to promote other plant based businesses

  • Help farmers transition to plant based farming


Communication

A Kent Council survey found that residents needed more information to understand the environmental impacts of meat and dairy. The Vegan Society's Plate Up for the Planet campaign explains the environmental benefits of plant based eating.

These websites can help residents try plant based food for one month: Vegan Society app, Animal Aid website and emails, Viva app, Veganuary website and emails, Plant Based Health Professionals emails, The Vegan Approach website.

  • Public space advert ban

  • Commit to raising awareness

  • Run informal education events about plant based food

  • Include plant based food on web pages about climate emergency responses

  • Include plant based food on web pages about healthy eating

  • Include plant based food in council magazines and newsletters

  • Design and display posters, leaflets, and videos about plant based food

  • Include Veganuary in communications plans

  • Meat reduction support email series


Libraries

Visit pages about a children's Veganuary library display, related picture books, books for adults and parents.

  • Include plant based books as part of climate emergency library book recommendation lists

  • Make Veganuary library books displays



Staff network

The Vegan Society has advice about supporting vegans in the workplace.

  • Members of staff establish a snaff network

  • Local councillors can lobby members of their own party in central government


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