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Could eating meat be outlawed?

Michael Mansfield QC will today call for a new law on ecocide to go alongside other crimes against humanity
Cattle in a corral in the Mercado de Liniers, Argentina

One of Britain’s most eminent barristers will today claim that eating meat could be outlawed as global nature plunges further into crisis.

Michael Mansfield QC believes a new law could be introduced amidst concerns livestock farming is destroying the planet.

A new law on ecocide

In a message delivered at the launch of the Vegan Now campaign at Labour Party Conference, Mansfield will call for legislation to criminalise the wilful destruction of nature.

Mansfield will say: ‘I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal.

‘There are plenty of things that were once commonplace that are now illegal such as smoking inside.’

The barrister will raise concerns that meat and dairy is doing untold damage to mother nature. He will add: ‘We know that the top 3,000 companies in the world are responsible for more than £1.5 trillion worth of damage to the environment with meat and dairy production high on the list.

‘We know that because the UN has told us so. It is time for a new law on ecocide to go alongside genocide and the other crimes against humanity.’

A debate on livestock farming

Mansfield will make the comments as a panel of experts debate the devastating effects of livestock farming on global biodiversity and climate change.

The panel is set to include Kerry McCarthy MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Bristol East; Juliet Gellatley, director of Viva!; Dr Josh Cullimore, GP and public health specialist; Joseph Poore, environmental researcher at the University of Oxford and Tony Wardle, associate director of Viva!

‘30 years ago people didn’t bat an eyelid if you lit a cigarette in a pub or restaurant. But now society accepts smoking is harmful and totally unnecessary and so we legislated against it. The same could happen with eating meat.

‘The global livestock industry is wrecking our most precious flora and fauna. And for nothing more than corporate greed.

‘It’s high time we kicked meat and dairy into touch and went vegan now.’

Viva! director

Agriculture and emissions

Powered by vegan charity Viva!, Vegan Now is set to shed new light on the devastating effects of industrial meat and dairy farming on global nature and veganism’s potential to reverse the damage.

The world’s top three meat firms emit more greenhouse gases each year than all of France.

Some 25% of all global greenhouse emissions come from agriculture, with livestock production contributing about 80% of that.

Cattle ranching is set to be responsible for some 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon.

The Vegan Now campaign will be launched on Monday 23 September at 16.00 at Lighthouse Brighton in a panel discussion held as part of the Labour Party Conference fringe. Entry is free.

Click here to read Helen Browning’s article about why a revolution in farming is on our doorstep.

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