Alan Cumming: ‘If The Goal Of COP26 Is To Protect The Planet, Animal-Derived Foods Have No Place On The Menu’

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Scottish actor, writer, filmmaker, and activist Alan Cumming penned a letter to MP Alok Sharma, the president of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). To align the summit’s goal in all its practices, Cumming urged him to remove meat and dairy from the menu and serve only vegan food.

On behalf of the animal rights organisation PETA, Alan Cumming sent out a letter to the MP Alok Sharma, president of COP26, calling on him to keep only vegan food on the summit’s menu.

What is COP26?

The United Nations Climate Change conference is the world’s largest environmental summit. All stakeholders and parties will come together to ramp up efforts to achieve the goals listed in the Paris Agreement and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

COP26 is scheduled to take place in the city of Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. It aims to tackle climate change and discuss ways the world can halve its emissions over the next decade on the road to achieve net-zero and limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

Animal and dairy industries contribute to climate change

The meat and dairy industries are one of the biggest contributors to climate change. According to the U.N., animal agriculture contributes to around a fifth of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

If the world ditches animal-based products and shifts to veganism, the emissions would be slashed by 70% by 2050.

Read: Slashing Methane Emissions ‘Strongest Lever’ Against Climate Crisis, U.N. Experts Say

Health experts too have come forward and stated that unsustainable and dangerous factory farming must be phased out to avoid future pandemics.

Source: Iva Rajović/Unsplash

Despite this, shockingly, the COP26 has included meat and dairy items in its menu. Calling on them, Cumming addressed a letter to MP Alok Sharma. The letter highlights the negative effects of these animal-based industries on the environment, the very same effects that the summit aims to address.

Veganism helps combat climate change

In the letter, Cumming writes: If we are to tackle the climate crisis, we must face the facts: raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, crops, energy, and water and causes immense animal suffering. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, raising and killing animals for food is the leading cause of ocean dead zones, water pollution, species extinction, and habitat destruction. University of Oxford researcher Joseph Poore studied the effects of various foods from 40,000 farms in 119 countries and concluded that going vegan is “the single biggest way” for everyone to reduce their impact on the planet – much more so than flying less or buying an electric car.”

Source:PETA

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, raising and killing animals for food is the leading cause of ocean dead zones, water pollution, species extinction, and habitat destruction

Alan Cumming, letter addressed to MP Alok Sharma, president of COP26

He added: “Given that animal agriculture contributes to many of the serious environmental problems the planet is facing, I hope you’ll agree that serving meat while trying to fight climate change is like serving beer at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. If the goal of the COP26 summit is to protect the planet—as well as promote compassionate, responsible behavior—animal-derived foods have no place on the menu.”

Read: Ending Fossil Fuels A Must But Paris Climate Goals Still ‘Out Of Reach’ Without Plant-Based Diet Shift

Previously, PETA U.K had even named the COP26 host city Glasgow as the Most Vegan-Friendly City in the U.K.

Still, somehow vegan food is not on the summit’s menu. To further back Cumming, more than 55,000 people are calling on the climate summit to take off these foods from the menu.


Lead image courtesy of PETA.

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