Chapter 4. Enacting Vegan Laws and Policies > Examples of Good Governance
IV.Examples of Good Governance
The European Union
The European Parliament admits that the meat diet is the cause for global warming, and they will reconsider to cut the subsidy for the meat industry, and instead they give it to the organic farmers, etc.125
Though it’s not going as quickly as I would like, but it looks like the critical mass is doing something because there is progress being made. Some courageous, brave, heroic leaders are helping to make the change, which is very touching and inspiring.
And Jens Holm, Member of the European Parliament has been working to get measures adopted in the European Union that recommend reducing meat to lower greenhouse gas emissions.126
Germany’s Environment Minister visited Brazil to help enact stricter regulations for preventing deforestation for meat that’s being exported to Europe.
There are many who convert themselves into organic farmers right now. In Ireland, the Agriculture Minister wrote to all the farmers in Ireland to tell them to convert themselves into organic farming, vegetable farming, and they subsidize them even. Right now there’s a huge percentage of farmers converting themselves into organic farming.
One of Belgium’s largest cities, Ghent, officially declared every Thursday a veggie day, and starting this school year all city schools will have vegetarian meals every Thursday.127
The United Kingdom
I am grateful to His Royal Highness Prince Charles for his forthright courage and fearless eloquence in speaking out on the environment. I really respect him, salute him. He is also a man of action and ahead of his time. For example, he opened an organic produce market and is trying very hard to halt deforestation of the rainforest worldwide.
Prince Charles is also trying to minimize his own carbon footprint, such as in his transportation. He also donated from his own fund US$2.8 billion—that’s almost three- billion dollars—for forest preservation.128
I commend humbly the UK government for all its leadership and laud all its projects toward the country’s low emissions future.
I would like to highlight the government’s important work in sustainable food policy. As early as July 2008, a report commissioned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to evaluate the UK’s food policy acknowledged that “a healthy, low-impact diet would contain less meat and fewer dairy products than we typically eat today.”129
Ever since then till now, the same idea has been promoted in the UK government, such as by advisor Professor Tim Lang of the National Health Service and the Committee on Climate Change.130 The government is even helping farmers to go green by publishing a guide called “The Code of Good Agricultural Practice.”131
The UK also has leaders who have adopted or advocated a plant-based diet, such as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn, Member of Parliament David Drew and EU Parliament’s Vice President Edward McMillan. These are good signs in the right direction and all countries could benefit from looking up at the UK’s examples.
The government needs to be bold and unprecedented. I hope the UK government rises to the occasion to lead the way to save the planet. I hope UK will be a leader of the world in this. In short, any UK policy for peace, constructive aid and the compassionate, veg lifestyle, as well as green projects, are the best and the UK government can propose and/or implement many in this category.
The United States
In the United States, the Hawaiian House and Senate unanimously passed a resolution asking that vegan and vegetarian meal options to be provided in Hawaiian schools.132
As a part of its new climate-action plan, Cincinnati, Ohio was the first US city to encourage less meat in order to stop global warming.133
Government leaders are outspoken about the benefits of vegetarianism. For example, just this summer vegan US Congressman Dennis Kucinich endorsed the first-ever Vegan Earth Day in California for vegetarians and non alike.134
Earlier in April , Senator Jamie Raskin of Maryland, USA, who had been a lifelong meat eater, initiated a vegetarian week to help the environment himself. He has stayed vegetarian ever since, and will be speaking at a national VegFest in September. Good news.135
[In 2009 The Baltimore City Public Schools system declared Meatless Monday.136]
[In April 2010, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to declare a veggie day. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to support encouraging restaurants, grocery stores and schools to increase their meatless offerings on Mondays.137]
[The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee passed School Lunch Bill, including Organic and Vegan Pilot Programs.]
In Formosa, the president, Ma Ying-Jeou announced that eating more vegetables and less meat is one of the most important lifestyle changes people can make to lower emissions.
For a political leader to say that is truly brave and truly is a very big step. And his wife, the First Lady of Formosa, also set an example for the children by reading aloud an article, how to curb global warming, eat less meat, more vegetables and fruits as an effort to reduce emissions.
President Ma Ying-Jeou and the entire presidential office signed a declaration of measures to reduce CO2, which includes eating locally and partaking of more vegetables and less meat.
Finally, over one-million people in Formosa (Taiwan) took a pledge to lower their meat consumption by signing their petition. 138