Even before I got fired up from attending the Why Animals Matter conference here in Auckland, New Zealand and wrote my Open Letter to the New Zealand Green Party, Dr T Colin Campbell's Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition had already assigned me the task (should I choose to accept it) of getting political.
At the end of his lecture, Dr. Bruce Monger urges us to action with a quote from Howard Zinn: "Nothing of positive social value is achieved from the top down, always from the bottom up." He adds some insight of his own: A healthy democracy is derived from an informed citizenry that takes the time to voice its opinion on how things should be run.
Because you now have far more nutritional knowledge than most people, your opinion on health-related topics is very valuable to the public, your elected representatives and others in positions to influence public opinion and nutrition policy.
To Russell Norman and Metiria Turei, co-Leaders, Green Party of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Listen. Nearly 4 billion people beg, "Please don't feed the animals!" 60% of our people go hungry because we feed most of the world's plant crops to animals destined for a shrink wrapped package and a short shelf life. This meat, along with sugar and fat, gives people in wealthy nations 50% more calories than we need...and obesity. Plants need energy and water to grow - but an animal consumes many times those resources before becoming food. But we can waste even more. Got fresh food? Process it (energy), package it (more energy) - and then ship the food around the country...or the world! Most people like us eat this way all the time - following a perfect recipe for oil dependency, war, and pollution.
Listen. Our planet groans under this wealthy diet. Our oceans are dying: fertilizers wipe out marine life already threatened by systemic overfishing. Our land is dying: animal pastures erode faster than they are replaced and intensive crop farming exchanges nutrients for pesticides and herbicides. Farm animal waste pollutes our drinking water and crops, and (jokes aside) they are major greenhouse gas emitters. And food packaging adds its own layer of pollution.
Listen. The UN has told us that our diet must change toward sustainable plants. You can personally change from an energy hungry diet to a plant-based diet; just listen to the message of Professor Emeritus Dr. T Colin Campbell ( http://www.tcolincampbell.org/) and others. This diet is tailor-made for the Green Party; please take up the challenge and spread the word for the sake of the planet - don't feed the animals, and let the land feed the people instead.
I sent this letter to the Green website but received no response. It worked much better to send my open letter directly to the Green MPs' email addresses (and blog, Facebook and tweet it, too).