Why Vega the Cow and Climate Healers Are Boycotting COP27

“We dream of a world in which love and not money, is civilization’s bottom line” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Climate Healers,

From a systemic perspective, the annual UN Climate Change meetings, the Conferences Of the Parties (COPs), are structurally designed to minimize global action on climate change. Think about it. All 192 countries or Parties, have to agree on some proposed action before it is implemented. And inevitably, there is zero enforcement on even those negligible implementation goals.

This annual charade has been going on for nearly three decades and during this time, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have been increasing at a faster pace than ever before. If the UN climate change negotiators had been meeting annually to increase greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as quickly as possible, they probably couldn’t have done much differently.

We have attended four UN COP meetings so far, COP17 in Durban, South Africa in 2011, COP21 in Paris, France in 2015, COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2016 and COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021. While there has been some progress in acknowledging reality at these COPs – for example, it was almost impossible to find Vegan food in the cafeterias at COP21, while 48% of the menu items were labelled Vegan in the cafeterias at COP26 – there has been considerable backsliding on other issues, such as the corporatization of the COPs. Indeed, COP26 even had a Times Square style electronic ticker board listing all the corporate sponsors of COP26. Therefore, we feel that it is time to take radical action to light a fire under these UN Climate Change meetings.

Please don’t get us wrong. We are truly grateful for the progress we have made at these COPs so far. At COP17, we initiated the Durban Addendum for the Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change, recruiting the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ela Gandhi and numerous faith leaders to endorse the idea that climate change can only be solved through a spiritual and cultural transformation, requiring each of us to promote and exemplify compassion for all creation in all our actions.

At COP21, we protested at the UN office over the lack of Vegan food in the cafeterias and got them to serve at least one Vegan dish at every meal. Imagine conducting a UN Climate Change meeting while consuming only eggs, sausages and cheeseburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two weeks! Such was the pitiful state of the United Nations at COP21 in Paris, France, just seven years ago, until we took action.

At COP22, we interviewed numerous faith leaders for our documentary, A Prayer for Compassion, which went on to win several awards for its promotion of compassion for all creation and Veganism as the foundation of spiritual transformation and climate action.

Finally, at COP26, we introduced Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer as well as the Climate Bathtub model for evaluating climate action proposals. The Climate Bathtub model showed that all legitimate climate action proposals would need to shut down the Killing machine of animal agriculture as quickly as possible.

Now, after much reflection, we have decided to boycott COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on Nov 7-18, 2022, in order to persuade the UN negotiators to take serious action on climate change. This means that the UN COP27 meeting and all future UN meetings should serve only Vegan food in the cafeterias and put animal agriculture front and center on the agenda for climate action as the Climate Bathtub model indicates. Currently, the UN has authorized a Food Climate Pavilion at COP27, which is their way of getting interested Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to talk among themselves on food issues, while the UN negotiators and the vast majority of delegates consume meat, dairy, fish and eggs in the cafeterias, while conducting business as usual.

We’ve also issued a $100K challenge to bolster our claim that animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions annually, in addition to being the leading cause of species extinctions, ocean dead zones and myriad other environmental ills.

The evidence shows that the UN negotiators know that addressing animal agriculture is the right thing to do as the science is clear on this issue. The time for dissembling on this issue is over as we are entering a period of consequences on climate change. People and animals are dying and it is time for the UN negotiators to behave like responsible citizens of planet earth and not as bystanders and enablers of ecocide and climate genocide.

While the UN negotiators can count on us as soon as they get serious on climate action, we respectfully decline to legitimize their COP charade until then.

Onward and Upward!

With much love,
Sailesh and Vega, Cow and Climate Healer on behalf of the Climate Healers team.

Why We Refuse to be Bystanders on Animal Slaughter and Human Starvation
From the Cow in the Room at COP26 to the Cow in the Oval Office
Sailesh Rao
srao@climatehealers.org
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