Ruth has been Vegan for 47 years and devotes her energy to raising the compassion and consciousness of humans through her advocacy and art. Her vision of Vegantopia has been steadily growing, and she realises that a balance must be made between activism against the horrors of animal agriculture, and co-creation of the gentle world we long to inhabit. Her website is www.vegantopia.co.uk

Saturday
1:00pm

Beyond sanctuary to rewilding: What animals, and people, deserve

The evidence of environmental degradation, water pollution, and health issues directly attributable to animal product production and diets is overwhelming. Switching to plant production and nutrition away from animal agriculture and diets would free up enormous amounts of land which could then be rewilded as it takes 8 times less land to support a vegan diet than a meat eating diet. The benefit to wild animals, and to human physical and emotional health would be immense. The growing trend to mega farms and zero grazing,

intensively confined animal husbandry must be stopped, not merely for the welfare of the animals but because it is toxic and detrimental to all life. If we switched our government subsidies to farmers from animal agriculture and instead incentivised plant production we would greatly improve our national and global food sovereignty. Not merely annual crops, but nut and fruit trees would contribute to our health and wellbeing. Walnut and mulberry trees thrive in UK climate, as do hazelnuts and chestnuts. I also envision wide scale greenhouses for year round production of soft fruits and salads, reducing carbon costly imports and dependency on global production. Natural biodiversity would be directly enhanced by a transition from mono cropping to arable diversity and smaller scale forest gardening, which require much less chemical pesticide and artificial fertiliser input. Finally, the enrichment of a rewilded landscape would enliven both nature and the human spirit. Farmers could earn a living from diversifying into retired farm animal sanctuaries and eco inspired pursuits which are life affirming and educational.

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