Happy Advent (nearly!)

November 26th, 2021

Hello!

I have no idea how many ‘readers’ I have, but I like to feel I’m ‘making a difference’/encouraging people somewhere…..

The important recent news, of course, is that the climate conference COP26 has now happened….

It did not achieve the vital decision to burn no more fossil fuels after 2030 – without such a shift, we face the possibility of cascading environmental collapse, as Earth systems pass critical thresholds and flip into new hostile states. 

More climate refugees, wars over food and increased injustice…. Depressing…

BUT, I’m choosing to believe that this is the start of many unfair systems being overturned – the truth and facts emerging about so much of our modern life, to the extent that people will reject ‘business as usual’. 

George Monbiot is encouraging us – we should not give up. “Just as the complex natural systems on which our lives depend can flip suddenly from one state to another, so can the systems that humans have created. Like Earth systems, our social and economic structures have self-reinforcing properties that stabilise them within a particular range of stress, but destabilise them when external pressure becomes too great. If they are driven past their tipping points, they can flip with astonishing speed. Our last, best hope is to use these properties to our advantage, triggering what scientists call ‘cascading regime shifts’. 

“This is how the global financial crisis of 2008-9 happened: a relatively minor shock (mortgage defaults in the US) was transmitted and amplified through the entire system, almost bringing it down.

“We should seek to use these dynamics to detonate positive change….the journal Climate Policy showed how we could harness the power of ‘domino dynamics’: a small disturbance, in the right place, can cause a cascading response throughout the system.”

Now to some practical changes we can make/be aware of….

In Japan and perhaps worldwide, Toyota has a reputation of being an industrial leader that provides ‘sustainable solutions’ such as hybrids and hydrogen cars. They sponsor athletes for the Olympics and invest in various social initiatives.

The reality is quite a different story with Toyota, unfortunately – they are one of the industry’s strongest voices opposing an all-out transition to electric vehicles.

Please check out Daniel Read’s research at Greenpeace East Asia.

Greenwashing, as I think I’ve maybe said before, is becoming an industry in itself…. Don’t be fooled!

Which brings me on to Christmas adverts…

I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year, but I can’t ignore the misleading marketing that’s around at the moment – capitalising on our wish to ‘return to normal’ after the last disappointingly disrupted two years, happy family scenes abound…..

Morrison’s is one that particularly comes to mind.

That supermarket, along with Tesco, sources factory-farmed chickens; and misleads us with labels proclaiming wholesome-sounding names of real farms and suppliers, such as ‘Butcher’s on Market Street’, that do not exist.

Ecohustler is a group opposing corporations which make immense profits whilst harming nature.

Its current target is Marks and Spencer, which claims its factory farmed salmon is ‘responsibly sourced.’ Ecohustler has made stickers to alert fellow shoppers to the damage being done. You can see one in use in this video – 
https://www.instagram.com/tv/CWdzXOcKl2c/

Excellent work; but these activists will be dismissed by many as troublemakers. However we profess to care about animals, nature and the Earth, we do not want to face the truth….

A ‘legitimate’ way to protest about factory farming and insist on the truth about eating meat/chicken is to contribute to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs’ current Call for Evidence about Labelling for Animal Welfare.

This government consultation closes on December 6th, so please hurry!

You may be cynical and think that these consultation processes are simply ‘public relations exercises’ , so the government can do what it was going to do anyway, having asked people and not enough were interested….Consultations are certainly not publicised widely enough…

We have to take every opportunity we can, I believe, to influence decisions and speak out for justice.

I was heartened a bit after taking part in the national planning consultation last year that went on to be shelved…!

Find the document here:

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-welfare-market-interventions-and-labelling/labelling-for-animal-welfare/

It looks a bit overwhelming and jargon-full; but I suggest you open it on one electronic ‘device’ and answer the questions on another, if possible.

Chris Packham and charity Open Cages have got clear guidance and suggestions to help –

“Many of the questions are simple multiple choice answers. You do not need to answer every question. If you only have a few minutes, the most important questions to answer are 17, 24 and 25.

If you have a little more time, please also answer 16, 22, 32 and 53.”

At present, there is no requirement to include even basic facts about the animal’s life or death.

Factory farmed animal products should come with warnings of their negative consequences on the planet (in addition to being cruel!).

There is quite a lot of interesting information in the consultation, if you do have more time to read around …. Evidence of Henry Dimbleby’s positive impact with the National Food Strategy, I hope… 

A little Advent project for you..?!

The ‘Cow in the Room’, as Dale Vince calls it, is our obsession with eating animals…

To tackle the climate crisis completely, meat eating needs to disappear…

Probably not going to happen this Christmas, so knowing where the meat comes from is a start!

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