30 Aug Vegan is Love – the Future is Vegan!
Dear Climate Healers,
The urgency is now palpable. In his new paper on ecological overshoot, Prof. William Rees makes the case that through our global industrial enterprise, we humans are contaminating and depleting the biophysical basis of our own existence. He shows that if we continue on our current course, a major human population “correction” is inevitable within the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. Rees estimates that the population “correction” would lead to a world with as few as 100 million humans to a maximum of about 3 billion humans. In other words, 5 billion to 7.9 billion humans are projected to die in the next few decades in order to maintain our current average wasteful lifestyles indefinitely.
Let’s face it – if 8 billion humans were doing nothing but twiddling their thumbs, the planet would not be destroyed. This ecological overshoot is due to our wasteful lifestyles and not just human numbers. While the human population went up by a factor of 8 from 1 billion to 8 billion in a little over 200 years, our consumption went up by a factor of 100 during the same time!
Was that twelve fold increase in per-capita consumption really necessary? True, if 8 billion humans insist on consuming meat, dairy, fish and eggs, while wasting 40% of the food we produce and deliberately implementing planned obsolescence in our industrial processes in order to sustain an ecological Ponzi scheme called neoliberal economics, then there aren’t enough resources on planet earth to keep this industrial human enterprise going indefinitely. However, it is disingenuous to pretend that is the only way to conduct ourselves.
Once we take responsibility for the predicted genocidal catastrophe awaiting our children and grandchildren, not to mention the 10 million humans dying of hunger related causes each year already, the work is now cut out for us. We have to convince the majority of our fellow humans that there is a simpler, more delightful and ethically rewarding way of life possible in a steady-state, plant-based, collaborative, ecosystems restoration economy than in our current growth-oriented, animal-based, competitive, resource extraction economy. To help us in this endeavor, I asked the OpenAI ChatGPT 4 engine two leading questions,
A) “How do we create a Vegan World by 2026?”
“Transitioning the world to a vegan lifestyle by 2026 is an ambitious goal, considering the historical, cultural, economic, and personal factors that influence dietary choices globally. To facilitate such a significant change in a short time frame, a comprehensive approach is needed. Here’s a broad roadmap to help create a vegan world by 2026:
1. Education and Awareness:
◦ Launch global campaigns highlighting the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a vegan diet.
◦ Promote documentaries, books, and articles that educate the masses about animal farming and its implications.
◦ Organize workshops and lectures in schools, colleges, and communities.
2. Legislative and Policy Changes:
◦ Encourage governments to subsidize plant-based foods and disincentivize animal agriculture.
◦ Implement strict animal welfare laws that make factory farming practices untenable.
◦ Encourage labeling for vegan products, making it easier for consumers to identify them.
3. Research and Development:
◦ Fund research into creating affordable, nutritious, and tasty vegan alternatives.
◦ Develop alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics and medicines.
◦ Support technological innovations like lab-grown meat, which might appeal to those resistant to giving up meat entirely.
4. Economic Incentives:
◦ Offer tax breaks or subsidies to farmers who transition from animal farming to plant-based agriculture.
◦ Support businesses that produce vegan products through grants and incentives.
◦ Foster the growth of vegan restaurants and cafes, making it more convenient for people to make vegan choices.
5. Cultural and Social Initiatives:
◦ Promote veganism in mainstream media, pop culture, and influential platforms.
◦ Encourage celebrities and influencers to advocate for veganism.
◦ Organize vegan food festivals, events, and pop-ups to showcase the variety and appeal of vegan food.
6. Infrastructure and Accessibility:
◦ Ensure vegan options are readily available in supermarkets, restaurants, and other food outlets.
◦ Facilitate the growth of vegan-focused delivery services and meal kits.
◦ Partner with food banks and charities to distribute vegan foods to those in need.
7. Community Building:
◦ Establish and nurture vegan communities online and offline for support, knowledge-sharing, and camaraderie.
◦ Create platforms where vegans can share recipes, tips, and experiences.
8. Continuous Monitoring and Feedback:
◦ Regularly survey the public to gauge changes in dietary habits and attitudes towards veganism.
◦ Adjust strategies based on feedback and evolving societal needs.
9. Tackle Barriers:
◦ Recognize cultural, economic, and personal reasons people might be resistant to veganism.
◦ Offer solutions, such as affordable vegan recipes for those on a budget or culturally appropriate vegan dishes for various global communities.
◦ Partner with environmental, health, and animal welfare organizations to unify messaging and efforts.
◦ Collaborate with chefs, food producers, and scientists to improve the quality and variety of vegan offerings.
Despite the comprehensive nature of this roadmap, it’s important to recognize that a global transition to veganism in just three years is an immensely challenging endeavor. However, significant progress can be made, setting the stage for continued growth of veganism in the subsequent years.”
That’s a pretty good roadmap for realizing a Vegan world by 2026, isn’t it? Then, I asked ChatGPT the broader question,
B) How do we transition to a steady-state, plant-based, collaborative, ecosystems restoration economy from our current growth-oriented, animal-based, competitive, resource extraction economy?
“Transitioning from a growth-oriented, animal-based, competitive, resource extraction economy to a steady-state, plant-based, collaborative, ecosystems restoration economy is a massive undertaking. It requires a reimagining of societal values, economic models, agricultural practices, and political frameworks. Such a transition would also entail shifts in technology, energy, infrastructure, and individual behaviors. Here’s a multi-faceted approach:
1. Education and Awareness:
◦ Public Awareness: Campaigns that educate the public about the benefits of a plant-based diet, the importance of ecological balance, and the pitfalls of perpetual economic growth can lay the groundwork.
◦ Curriculum Integration: Including sustainability, ecology, and collaborative models in educational curricula can instill these values from a young age.
2. Policy and Regulation:
◦ Incentives for Plant-Based Agriculture: Governments can offer subsidies and incentives for plant-based farming while phasing out subsidies for large-scale animal agriculture.
◦ Regulation of Resource Extraction: Implement strict regulations on logging, mining, and other extractive industries to reduce environmental degradation.
◦ Promote Circular Economy: Policies that promote recycling, reuse, and reduction can minimize waste.
3. Economic Transformation:
◦ Support for Steady-State Economic Models: Transition away from GDP as the primary metric of economic health, focusing on metrics that account for well-being, sustainability, and ecological health.
◦ Taxation: Implement progressive taxation policies that discourage resource overuse and waste.
◦ Green Investments: Governments and private sectors can prioritize investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and restoration projects.
4. Technological Advancements:
◦ Research and Development: Invest in technologies that support sustainable agriculture, clean energy, and waste reduction.
◦ Adopt Clean Energy: Transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.
5. Cultural Shift:
◦ Promote Collaboration: Encourage collaborative rather than competitive models in businesses, communities, and international relations.
◦ Reevaluate Consumption Patterns: Encourage a culture that values minimalism, quality over quantity, and long-term utility over short-term gratification.
6. Ecosystems Restoration:
◦ Afforestation and Reforestation: Promote tree-planting initiatives at local, national, and global levels.
◦ Protect Biodiversity: Establish and maintain protected areas to conserve critical habitats and species.
◦ Restore Degraded Land: Implement land restoration projects to combat desertification and land degradation.
7. Community Initiatives:
◦ Local Farming: Support community gardens, local farms, and farmers’ markets to promote local, plant-based food consumption.
◦ Community-Based Conservation: Empower local communities to take charge of conservation and restoration projects in their areas.
8. Corporate Responsibility:
◦ Sustainable Business Models: Encourage businesses to adopt models that prioritize sustainability, ethical practices, and community well-being over pure profit.
◦ Transparent Supply Chains: Businesses can ensure their supply chains are sustainable, ethical, and transparent.
9. Global Collaboration:
◦ International Agreements: Nations can come together to set global standards and targets for sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and emissions reductions.
◦ Shared Technologies: Sharing technological advancements that support a sustainable and restorative economy can fast-track global adoption.
10. Individual Actions:
◦ Shift to Plant-Based Diets: Individuals can reduce their meat and dairy consumption, favoring plant-based alternatives.
◦ Consumer Choices: Opting for sustainable, eco-friendly products can push industries to adopt more responsible practices.
This transition would be a journey rather than a destination. It requires the collaborative efforts of governments, businesses, communities, and individuals worldwide. Overcoming the challenges along the way necessitates a shared vision, continuous dialogue, adaptability, and a deep commitment to the well-being of the planet and future generations.”
Did you notice the similarity in the responses?
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Thanks again for being a superhero and joining our herd. Please forward this post to all your friends and let’s grow our MOOOvement together.
With much love,
Sailesh on behalf of the Climate Healers core team
(Akhil, Alison, Anne, BJ, Carl, Chip, Deborah, Debra, Dona, Gabriele, Giva, Ilse, Jamen, Jim, Kelly, Ken, Kimaya, Krish, Maggie, Marco, Paige, Pareen, Paul, Ray, Sailesh, Sarah, Shankar, Stacey, Suzanne, Tami and Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer).