The food system affects all aspects of our lives; it’s a key determinant of health, a major driver of climate change and habitat loss, a large sector of the economy and source of employment, and also a repository of deeply held social and cultural values.
Our current food system is unhealthy, unsustainable, and unfair. It is over-reliant on overseas producers; with poor health impacts spread unequally through society; a destructive environmental inheritance; a continued and unsustainable use of animals; and a system which does not fairly reward the majority of those who work within it.
To fix the problems in the food system, we need a coherent food policy that addresses all of these issues, and measures success against these multiple criteria. This research, along with our legislative proposals, lays out our vision for achieving this aim, and invites people to look at food system change through our lens – of fairness and freedoms for animals too.
Our proposals to transform the food system are inspired by a systems-led approach to policy development, food system challenges, and on-farm transformations.
Some of our key principles for this work:
The legislative agenda we propose is based upon a sustainable food system model using such a multi-criteria approach, taking as our starting point four areas for assessment: health, economy and just work, climate change and ecosystems, social and cultural values – all seen through a lens of animal equity.
For The Vegan Society, a truly fair, sustainable food system requires, at the very least, ending animal ownership under historic property rights and their release from their pre-determined deaths in the food system.Find out more
The problem is not that the UK is poor and cannot afford healthful food, but that we have created an unequal and unfair food system, with levels of inequality growing wider in both health and income.Find out more
We believe it is the job of government to get fair, nutritious food on our tables. The question is not if government must act, but how.Find out more
Our global ecosystem is under great stress, much of this due to animal agriculture. Emissions from beef are up to 100 times greater than from plant-based alternatives such as lentils or beans. But that is not to say ‘meat’ from other animals is better, with the ‘best’ or lightest impacts of animal agriculture still worse for the planet than the ‘worst’ plant-based products.Find out more
Change in our food system is already happening. Our proposals offer some next steps on this transformative path.
Some further policy recommendations include:
Social and Cultural Value
Social and cultural values will have to change if we are to support farmers and reprogramme our food system in ways that are safe, long-lasting and sustainable.Find out more