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Group Urges Mayor Radich To Join Sister City In Taking Plant-Based Pledge

Dunedin – Following news that the Scottish city of Edinburgh has become Europe’s first capital to sign the Plant Based Treaty, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to the mayor of Edinburgh’s sister city, Dunedin, urging the council to follow suit for humans, other animals, and the planet.

“By committing to a vegan future for Dunedin, you’d be helping to protect animals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve human health globally,” writes the group. “New Zealand’s Nationally Determined Contribution aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to 50% below gross 2005 levels by 2030, making now the time for leaders at all levels to address the cow in the room: raising animals for food and fashion is terrible for the planet.”

In 2020, over 43% of New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions were made up of methane, most of which – 89% – was the result of animal agriculture. Methane has a Global Warming Potential up to 80 times that of carbon dioxide. Each person can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases their diet contributes to climate change by up to 73% just by going vegan.

“Of course,” continues PETA, “it’s not just about human health or the planet. The 27 million animals raised for their flesh in New Zealand each year suffer immensely. Each of them is an individual, just like those with whom so many Kiwis share their homes.”

The group concludes the letter by saying, “You have the power to lead Dunedin and the rest of New Zealand into an era in which animals are respected, humans are well nourished, and our children have a healthy planet to live on. Future generations will look back on the actions of those who make compassionate and sustainable choices now as visionaries and pioneers.”

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You can read PETA’s full letter to Mayor Radich here.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that moving away from animal agriculture can also help prevent future zoonotic pandemics. It can also ease the health-care burden of preventable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease – New Zealand’s biggest killer, claiming one life every 90 minutes. For more information, visit and follow the group on Facebook and Instagram.

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