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Press Release Section Icon 11/1/2021

Compassion calls for a reduction in meat and dairy consumption

Over 100 NGOs and high-profile figures urge world leaders to address the impact of food and animal agriculture on climate change at COP26

New York City, NY (Oct. 29, 2021) – Today (Monday, November 1), as world leaders and a conference of Parties gather in Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), over 100 NGOs and prominent figures have joined forces to call on national governments to address the impact of food and animal agriculture to avert a climate catastrophe.

In a joint statement, coordinated by Compassion in World Farming, a host of high-profile figures—including Bruce Friedrich, Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Good Food Institute; Raj Patel, Research Professor, University of Texas at Austin; and Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University—urge world leaders to help ensure the impact of food and agriculture on climate change is a central part of the discussions at COP26. The statement is also supported by numerous animal welfare and environmental charities, including Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, Four Paws UK, Greenpeace UK, OneKind, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Friends of the Earth, Brighter Green and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The statement, which features in full-page adverts in both The Times and The National newspapers today, reads: “COP26 is bringing together world leaders to tackle the dangerous and unprecedented climate emergency. We urge governments to seize COP Nature Day on 6th November to properly address the impact of food and animal agriculture. People are relying on their leadership – we need a commitment to immediate global action towards creating sustainable, healthy food systems for the benefit of animals, people and the planet.

“Our planet is in crisis. The issue of food and agriculture impact needs to form a central part of the discussion and world leaders need to be ready to bring about serious change.

“If the way we eat does not change substantially, as a matter of urgency, we will fail to meet climate targets and the science says the repercussions will be catastrophic. Global meat and dairy consumption must be greatly reduced if we are to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A move to higher-welfare, nature-friendly agriculture is also essential if we are to reduce biodiversity loss. The world is watching.”

Ben Williamson, Executive Director of Compassion in World Farming, explains:

World leaders are gathering at COP26 to try and solve the escalating climate emergency, yet they are ignoring the ‘cow’ in the room. Despite overwhelming evidence that meat consumption is a major driver of the climate crisis, national governments are failing to acknowledge the central role that food and agriculture plays in destroying our planet. We hope our adverts in The Times and The National will drive home our message and help to influence world leaders as they gather for the first day of the Summit. The world is watching.

In addition to the joint statement, Compassion will be launching a new report at COP26 which sets out the scientific case for a dramatic global reduction in meat consumption, before it’s too late.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please email Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.

View the full statement and list of signatures.

About Compassion in World Farming:

Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British dairy farmer who became horrified at the development of intensive factory farming. Today Compassion is the leading farmed animal welfare organization dedicated to ending factory farming and achieving humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the U.K., we have offices across Europe, in the U.S., China and South Africa.


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