Suraj works near where this protest took place! He knew I’d be interested because I’m quite ‘green’ and I am also vegan. Thus it ticked a couple of boxes for me. More importantly it’s something I wasn’t aware of so I’d be sure to write about it. Did you know that 18% of greenhouse gases are produced by animal farming?
Protesters from the climate camp at Kingsnorth power station have scaled London’s Smithfield Meat Market and unfurled a pro-vegan banner.
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Four activists – two men and two women – have climbed the entrance to the historic north London market.
The two men, who are stationed at the very top of the Victorian complex, have displayed a banner reading: “18% of greenhouse gases are produced by animal farming. Fight climate change – go vegan.”
Paul Jacobs, a spokesman for the protesters, said: “Climate change is one of the greatest and most imminent threats that we face, and animal faming’s role in that needs to be more widely known.
“A 2007 UN Food and Agricultural Organisation report found that livestock farming and industrial fishing currently accounts for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is even more than the 13.5 per cent caused by transport.”
Mr Jacobs said that he and the four protesters on the market roof had come from the climate camp at Kingsnorth, Kent, where demonstrators attempting to block the opening of a new coal-fired power station clashed with police at the weekend.
He added: “We are asking the Government to provide information about farming’s role in the climate change, and to make it an issue.
“There has been no statement of the problem and the wider public have no idea of the statistics involved. All the major political parties claim to be addressing climate change issues, but none of them has addressed this part of it at all.
Smithfield, in Charterhouse Street, north London, has been the site of livestock trade for more than 800 years. It currently supplies butchers, shops and restaurants across the capital with meat and animal produce. Onlookers this morning said that meat traders, who work at the complex every morning from 4am to midday, were shouting abuse at the protesters.
A spokesman from the office of the Superintendent of Smithfield Market said: “We don’t have any comment to make. We’re just trying to deal with the people on the roof.”
Asked what action he and the protesters were requesting, Mr Jacobs said: “While we would like it if everyone adopted a vegan diet, we don’t believe in imposing ways of life on to people. But information should be given and policies considered that could encourage people to change, possibly including increased taxes on the production and consumption of animal products.”
In a pre-written statement, Clare Whitney, one of the activists, said: “An animal-based diet is no longer sustainable with climate change threatening the planet, its ecosystems, and the people who depend on them,”
I think this is amazing. Everything seems to be pointing to climate change at the moment but what are the powers that be doing about it? What are you doing about it?