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Call For Plant Based Farming

Today sees the launch of a petition calling on the new government to offer advice and support to farmers wanting to diversify towards plant-based agriculture. Currently many farmers may feel trapped in their current circumstances and cannot see a way towards diversification and making a transition towards growing plants. The petition calls for government think tanks and grants towards increasing our horticultural industry. We are lucky to have a wealth of knowledge in the horticultural sector and exports are rising every year, last year topping $8 billion.

Arable land is an underused resource in New Zealand, with just one tenth of it in horticultural production. We are not currently on track to meet our international climate commitments and with 49% of our carbon emissions due to the agricultural sector, this is the part that must change and will yield the biggest and quickest results. With less than 10 years for the world to act on climate change, we cannot let this opportunity pass us by. We have to reduce our methane emissions as soon as possible.

“Our farmers are being sold a lie that New Zealand will provide high quality meat and dairy for the world,” says spokesperson Claire Insley, “We want to see them being encouraged to do their part for the future of our planet and New Zealand's sustainability. The Covid crisis has taught us many things over the past year and has seen a rising boom in plant-based products as people become more wary of the dangers of eating meat and dairy. Our planet cannot continue to support large numbers of meat eaters and that fact combined with the new cell technologies will lead to the end of large scale animal agriculture”

Not only our economy but our health is also at risk, if we do not start to make those changes now. According to an Otago University paper, a wholefoods plant diet could bring carbon emissions savings of up to 42%, confer a population gain of up to 1.5 million quality-adjusted life-years, and save our health care system up to $20 billion. A plant-based diet reduces your risk of ischaemic heart disease, bowel cancer, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension and inflammatory arthritis.

We can no longer continue business as usual, the global population is growing too large to support the number of animals that are being farmed. We have already lost 60% of the global wildlife due to habitat loss, biodiversity is plummeting, the Amazon rainforest is close to switching to a savannah landscape, all due to animal agriculture and mono cropping.We must restore the natural balance of our world while there is still time. Growing plants for humans to eat is the biggest change that is in our control. It takes far less resources to produce plants for humans to eat and causes far less pollution.

To see the full wording and sign the petition https://our.actionstation.org.nz/p/diversify

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