The Vegan Society has challenged Auckland’s Mayor, Phil Goff, to go vegan for the planet as part of their VIP March Challenge.
Although there is a national climate change mitigation plan, few agencies are willing to put these plans into action. New Zealand’s vastly overinflated agricultural emissions are critical to the equation for any such projects to be of actual value. Not even the Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, will admit that it’s his job to tell farmers to reduce livestock numbers! (It literally IS his job to say this!) With such a lack of leadership forthcoming, it is up to individuals to take matters into their own hands.
There are several ways to reduce their carbon emissions, but meat-eaters have an effortless way out with every meal they eat. Reducing the intake of animal products can reduce the carbon emissions due to food by up to 75%!
Vegan food options have increased throughout the region over the last few years, which is vital for promoting health for all and mitigating climate change. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has committed to a Low Carb-on Diet across all their facilities; this means that all council catering is vegetarian or vegan to address climate change. The Tauranga hospital also promotes vegetarian food to its patients.
Aotearoa needs more councils to step up and do what they can to mitigate climate change in their regions and districts.
As a great start to autumn, the Society challenges different VIPs each year to go vegan. Gareth Hughes took up and kept to the challenge back in 2018, and Jacinda Ardern has been challenged a couple of times. Every 1st of the month, there is the opportunity to take up the Vegan Challenge, where everyone receives daily emails giving advice, shopping tips, recipes, meal plans etc.
There is also a Facebook mentor group to join where you can share the vegan journey with other veginners (beginner vegans), ask questions to the mentor team, including dieticians and nutritionists, and post your vegan meals!