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News on an Emerging Vegan World – Summer 2022

Ecuador’s High Court Rules That Wild Animals Have Legal Rights

Ecuador’s top courth has ruled that wild animals possess distinct legal rights, including the right to exist, to develop their innate instincts and to be free from disproportionate cruelty, fear and distress. The landmark decision relates to the interpretation of the country’s “rights of nature” constitutional laws.

The 7-2 ruling handed down last month in Quito is believed to be the first time a court has applied the rights of nature—laws that recognize the legal rights of ecosystems to exist and regenerate—to an animal, a woolly monkey named Estrellita. The court did not say whether domesticated animals possess specific legal rights, but by omission left the door open to the possibility that they do. This could be recognised in future cases.  Ecuador is one of several countries, including Bolivia, New Zealand, Colombia and Bangladesh, that recognize the rights of nature. 

(Read more in this article from Inside Climate News).

World’s largest meat company JBS increases emissions by 51%

JBS claims to be tackling climate change but ultimately they want to increase their profits which will lead to more emissions. Companies recognise that people care about climate change so they publish ‘Climate plans’ filled with rhetoric such as ‘Committed to Net Zero’ and ‘Carbon offsetting’. At first glance, these climate commitments seem promising but when you dig a little deeper they turn out to be nothing but whitewash, lies and distractions from making any meaningful change. 

(Read more in this article from Eating Better).

World loses 11.1 million hectares of tropical forest in 2021

According to the University of Maryland, the world lost 11.1 million hectares of forest in tropical regions in 2021. The deforestation was particularly alarming in Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The biggest drivers of destruction are logging, the expansion of agriculture and intentionally set fires. The loss of primary rainforests is particularly worrying. On average, ten soccer fields per minute were lost in 2021. In total, 3.75 million hectares of rainforests, which are critical for carbon storage and biodiversity, were destroyed.

The evaluation is largely limited to tropical forests, but the trend in boreal forests, particularly in Russia, is also worrying. In 2021, 8.55 million hectares were lost in northern latitudes. While the impact on biodiversity may be less there than in the tropics, the consequences for the climate are no less catastrophic.

(Read more in this article from Rainforest Rescue).

The State of South Australia to become a plant protein powerhouse

In the largest investment in Australia’s plant protein sector to date, a newly announced $378M project to construct three new plant protein processing facilities will position South Australia to become a major supplier of plant proteins and generate up to 8,500 jobs in the state.  

The project sees a partnership between one of Australia’s largest meat producers, Thomas Foods International, the APP, and the Australian Milling Group. The new venture will significantly expand domestic plant protein supply and export opportunities, quadrupling existing production in South Australia and supplying 25,000 tonnes of pulse protein per year.

(Read more in this article from Food Frontier).

Danish Government Launches “Plant Fund” to Invest $100M in Plant-Based Foods 

The Danish government will invest over $100 million into a new ‘Plantefonden’ – or Plant Fund – to promote climate-friendly plant-based foods. The Danish Plantbased Business Association has been named on the board of the Plant Fund, an initiative of the Danish Agency for Agriculture. A historic amount of DKK 675 million (100 million USD) has been set aside until 2030 for the Plant Fund, going exclusively to plant-based foods. The Plant Fund is a central initiative in the agricultural agreement in the Danish government, as it looks to embrace the climate benefits and increased food security of the plant-based economy.

(Read more in this article by Vegconomist).

Inter-American Development Bank drops its multimillion dollar loan to meat giant Marfrig

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is no longer considering a $43 million loan package for Marfrig Global Foods’ Brazilian beef operations through their IDB Invest. Their website now lists the status of the loan project as “inactive”.

The decision comes after more than 200 environmental, animal welfare, human rights and development advocacy groups sent a public letter to the Bank’s board of directors, citing potential bank policy violations and denouncing the loan for the role it would play in fuelling deforestation, land grabbing and contributing to the climate crisis. The organizations now hope this outcome will send a loud signal to public development finance: loans should not be channelled to large-scale industrial livestock operations and such initiatives are incompatible with their commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

(Read more in this article from Sinergia).

China’s hunger for alternative proteins led by President Xi

China president Xi JinPing spoke at length about food security during the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference on March 6, 2022.

He urged his officials to develop plant-based, fermented and cell-cultured animal protein in additional to traditional food sources to secure food supply and protect the environment.

President Xi said science and technology were key to food security. He wanted officials to stabilise the production of grain and corn while expanding the planting of soybean and oil seed crops, to ensure domestic grains play a main role in ensuring the food supply for the Chinese people.

(Read more in this article from GreenQueen.com).

President Xi JinPing. (Photo: en.cppcc.gov.ca)

Northern Ireland Assembly’s first climate act will require the farming sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Northern Ireland will need to lose more than 1 million sheep and cattle to meet its new legally binding climate emissions targets, according to an industry-commissioned analysis.  The large-scale reduction in farm animals comes after the passing of the ​​jurisdiction’s first ever climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce methane emissions by almost 50% over the same period. 

(Read more in this article in the Guardian).

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