A vegan diet is critical for our future prosperity

Recently we started working on ‘Veganuary‘, a non-profit campaign encouraging people to adopt a vegan diet for the month of January. The campaign offers a wide variety of recipes and great resources to guide people through a month of veganism.

As part of our work over the course of the next couple of months we will be running lots of exciting competitions and outreaching to influencer communities. SO If you want to be involved drop us a tweet or leave a comment in this blog.

As a vegan led organisation we believe veganism is vitally important for building a pleasant for future generations. The latest IPCC report highlights the scale of the environmental crisis we face. The predicted 4 degrees temperature increase by the end of the century equals millions of climate refugees and widespread famines as the cost of everything on our plate soars.

Sadly we are set to see people starving on a scale the world has yet to witness. At the same time the world faces the challenge of feeding an extra 3 billion people by 2050. So how are we going to do this? We don’t have the right in the West to sit here and say people in the global south must eat a different diet to ours, because well we got rich first and screwed up the planet badly. We need to find a smarter way of eating which enables us to thrive in harmony with the planet without degrading our environment.

Although figures differ; the meat industry is responsible for between 10-25% of yearly global greenhouse emissions. The rearing of livestock plays a key role in deforestation, decertification, whilst also using up water and soya to grow the animals which could be used to feed people. This interesting Friends of The Earth report puts the combined, nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide levels from livestock rearing at around 18% of greenhouse emissions. (Page 15/16)

One of the ways we can seriously combat climate change and global world hunger is through veganism. A vegan diet is starting to be seen as achievable and desirable to follow as a way not only to save the lives of animals but to lower your carbon footprint and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Forbes recently described vegan food as a mega trend of 2014 and the first vegan supermarket is due to open in London in 2014 and Jay-Z and Beyonce have just embarked on a 22 day vegan challenge. Elite vegan athletes are becoming more commonplace and they are not just taking part they are winning major sporting events. It is no surprise that Al Gore and Bill Clinton, the former President and VP of America have gone vegan. They know the figures for the health and the planet; they know it makes humanitarian sense.

The bullet points below take you to fact filled information from the Veganuary outlining how by trying a vegan diet you could be helping the planet become a better place.

We all have to make our own decisions in life about what we do and how we eat. I can just say from my own experience a vegan lifestyle is great if you want to feel healthy and live an environmentally friendly life.

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The New Dawn Traders leading a sail renaissance

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We recently helped an exciting environmental campaign The New Dawn Traders with a social media strategy to help them communicate their exciting 7-month sail voyage around the Atlantic.

We believe they are sparking important conversations about the future of global trade and how by looking to the past we can create a fossil fuel free sail transport future.

A voyage of discovery

On the 14th October our friends at The New Dawn Traders, Alex and Lucy set sail on 7-month voyage around the Atlantic with wind powered cargo vessel Tres Hombres who are pioneering a renaissance in shipping cargo.

The sailboat for the voyage is 100% wind-powered and emission-free. This 32 meter, engine-less brigantine has been successfully trading between Europe and islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 2009. This year will be the ship’s first voyage to Brazil

Before the advent of the steamboat global trade was conducted by sail boats similar to the Tres Hombres boat. With the discovery of fossil fuels we very quickly shifted away from sail boats that had served global trade well for centuries.

The New Dawn Traders voyage is divided into two mutually supported departments: Trading Under Sail and Storytelling. Their ultimate goal is to manifest a self-sustaining, theatrical cargo ship, trading in goods, knowledge and culture by the power of the wind.

Creating environmental and social change for the better requires a groundswell of many individual efforts, and The New Dawn Traders hope to motivate this through documenting and sharing their own path towards a healthy, happy, enchanted and fair planet.

The shipping industry has a direct impact on coastal environments and communities. Apart from pollution to the air and through discharge of black and grey water, ships cross-contaminate ecosystems through the intake and discharge of huge volumes of ballast water from port to port. Even sound pollution from shipping affects the migratory patterns of marine species that rely on sound for navigation and ships can kill marine mammals on impact, should the unfortunate creature be in the way. The human impact is significant too – coastal communities that once thrived on the providence of their oceans have been losing their livelihood to large multinational companies, from cargo ships, cruise liners and industrial fishing trawlers, whilst then also being hardest hit by the pollution of these beasts.

Meet The New Dawn Traders, Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys:

Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys

Fossil fuel shipping was reported this year to make up 4.5%  of global carbon emissions. Shipping emissions are not currently included in the EU carbon cutting targets. And with the IPCC predicting global shipping emissions to rise by another 30% by 2020 we feel this is vital campaign for all of our futures.

Key Facts about global shipping:

  • 90% of everything you buy or own has spent time on a cargo ship.
  • A single cargo ship can burn 250 000 litres of fuel every 24 hours.
  • Just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.

We wish the New Dawn Traders all the best on their voyage and we can’t wait to taste some of the delicious sail cargo on their return.

You can support this fantastic project by visiting the New Dawn Traders Indiegogo funding campaign.

Keep updated with their voyage by following them on Twitter and liking their page on Facebook and following their voyage blog.