Mayor Challenged To Go Vegan To Combat Climate Change.

The Vegan Society have challenged Auckland’s Mayor, Phil Goff, to go vegan for the planet as part of their VIP March Challenge. Although there is a national climate change mitigation plan in place, few agencies are willing to actually put these plans into action. NZ’s vastly overinflated agricultural emissions are key to the equation for any such plans to be of true value. Not even the Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, will admit that it’s his job to tell farmers to reduce livestock numbers! (It literally IS his job to say this!) With such a lack of leadership forthcoming, it is up to individuals to take matters into their own hands.

There are a number of ways for people to reduce their carbon emissions, but meat eaters have a particularly easy way out, with every meal they eat. Reducing intake of animal products can reduce the carbon emissions due to food by up to 75%! This would certainly go a long way to reducing NZ’s overall carbon emissions, easily beating those due to transport or energy use.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has committed to a Low Carb-on Diet across all their facilities, this means that all council catering is vegetarian or vegan, in order to address climate change. The Tauranga hospital also promotes vegetarian food to its patients. Vegan food options have increased throughout the region over the last few years, which is a vital part of promoting health for all, as well as mitigating climate change. Aotearoa needs more councils to step up and do what they can to mitigate climate change in their regions and districts.

As a great start to autumn, the Society challenges different VIPs each year to go vegan. Gareth Hughes took up and kept to the challenge back in 2018, and Jacinda Ardern has been challenged a couple of times. Every 1st of the month there is the opportunity to take up the Vegan Challenge where everyone receives daily emails giving advice, shopping tips, recipes, meal plans etc. There is also a Facebook mentor group to join where you can share the vegan journey with other veginners (beginner vegans), ask questions to the mentor team who include dieticians and nutritionists and of course post your vegan meals! For more information go to www.tryvegan.org.nz

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