For years, the impact of animal agriculture and the benefits of plant-based diets have been left off the agenda at climate conferences, from before the 2006 UN report until as recently as COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. And now climate, food & animal groups from across the UK and globally are uniting to present the case for an end to animal agriculture and a shift to plant-based food systems at the “Collaborating on Positions” COP27 conference this Autumn.
Hosted as part of the UK’s longest running vegan exhibition VegfestUK London at the iconic settings of The Grand at Olympia London, the conference brings together different factions of the modern day animal protection movement alongside climate justice and food justice groups and experts, to create a collaboration on positions that allows a united front from all participants to counter the lack of action and direction from both governments and corporations the world over on the issue of animal agriculture and climate change. This follows on from successful collaborations in 2021 spearheaded by The Vegan Society at COP26 including many of the main campaign groups.
In partnership with The Plant Based Treaty, a global initiative aimed at driving systemic, institutional and individual change towards plant-based food systems, the conference also includes an Introduction to Plant-Based Diets area
with information and a supportive environment for people new to it, and an area dedicated to Campaigning for Animals, ensuring solutions to climate justice keep animal justice at the heart of those proposals. A further area – the ‘Writer’s Corner’ sees a collection of pub
lished authors and experts in different fields of plant-based living and veganism, bringing essential evidence-based expertise to the conference. And the inclusion of the Kids Area, replete with campaign workshops, is a timely reminder that the future of our planet may lie in our hands but it’s the generations to come that will experience the outcome. This on top of a host of other featured areas taking place throughout the rest of the event.
“Climate change affects us all” says conference host Tim Barford, “and we know that changing one’s lifestyle choices to include a wholefood plant-based diet and plant-based lifestyle options can have a notable positive impact on the environment & planet – as well as on your own health. And importantly, it’s being fair to animals, a form of justice for the billions we breed and kill for profit, and it presents an opportunity for food justice, food sovereignty and essentially fair trade and access to healthy options for everyone. There’s no need to commodify animals by the billion, and we are paying the price for that. It’s up to us to change our ways, and not only stop using animals, and switch to plant-based options – but also to demand councils, authorities, businesses, corporations and governments do the same. This Conference draws together some of the best voices on the planet right now to make the case for an end to animal agriculture, a transition to plant-based food systems, and to adopt a vegan way of life based on principles of non-violence, and upholding the basic rights of animals – and people – not to be used, not to be commodified, and to be treated fairly and justly.”
Delegates from across the UK are invited to attend including councillors, decision makers and influencers from many walks of life, to help access the education and information required to make informed policy decisions in support of the Plant Based Treaty, and in particular to endorse the Treaty.
Nicola Harris, from The Plant Based Treaty added “this is a unique opportunity to bring together major decision makers including regional mayors, politicians, councillors and policy makers to introduce them to the benefits of plant-based diets and food systems, and help fuel support for change on every level. And additionally, the conference will be livestreamed and available free globally online, allowing the inspiration, education and collective collaboration of the conference to resonate around the world a little further than the confines of the event itself. And never before have we needed a strong grassroots global collective to help address the climate crisis we find ourselves in right now. The Plant Based Treaty can really help bring campaigns and groups together across the globe to unite with one powerful message – it’s time to end the use of animals and shift to plant-based food systems that feed us all. And we can do it.”
The conference takes place at Olympia Grand on the weekend of November 12th & 13th 2022 and sees around 12,000 visitors as part of the whole VegfestUK event taking place that weekend. Tickets are on sale in the autumn, priced £10 including fees to ensure maximum attendance, with additional free tickets available for low income and marginalised groups to encourage participation, as well as the anticipated 1000 + delegates attending. The Conference takes place on the Balcony at Olympia Grand, and with the rest of the event taking place the same weekend on the Ground Floor, including a number of vegan hot food street caterers, some 250 exhibitors and around 8 featured areas including health, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, cookery demos, business support, and a chillout stage, it’s the ideal opportunity to learn about the benefits of plant-based diets and lifestyle choices for those new to the idea.
And the importance of a supportive area to help people discover the benefits of wholefood plant-based diets cannot be understated. “By moving towards plant-based eating we can improve our health, weight, energy and wellbeing. Access to nutritional knowledge, wholefoods and cooking skills are key to empowering this movement.” adds Vanessa Sturman, host of the ‘Introduction to Plant Based Diets’ area.
“We have a window to affect change” adds Barford, “but that window is closing. We know that with climate change, the ‘elephant in the room’ is animal agriculture and that vast profits for both governments and corporations are tied up in this area. The only way we can do this is to change as individuals and choose plant-based options, and demand change from Governments and corporations. One of our own worst enemies is the enemy within – and collaborating on positions is essential to presenting a unified and effective case for an end to animal agriculture, and ultimately total liberation for all animals, humans and environment. Together, many hands can make light of this work. My hope is this conference will play a tiny yet significant part in achieving this goal.’’
‘Collaborating on Positions – COP27 Conference 2022’ takes place at Olympia Grand November 12th 13th 2022 10am – 6pm Saturday and 10am – 5pm Sunday, as part of VegfestUK London 22. See the website https://london.vegfest.co.uk/ for details.
Trade Delegates can register to attend here https://london.vegfest.co.uk/trade-tickets/