This week, Michael Mansfield—a top lawyer recognized by the Queen’s Counsel in Britain—spoke about the devastating environmental effects of animal agriculture at the launch of vegan group Viva!’s new campaign “Vegan Now” during the Labour Party conference in Brighton. Mansfield explained that “ecocide”—or the willful destruction of the environment as perpetuated by the meat and dairy industries—should be treated as seriously as other forms of widespread injustice. “There are plenty of things that were once commonplace that are now illegal such as smoking inside,” Mansfield said. “We know that the top 3,000 companies in the world are responsible for more than £1.5 trillion ($1.9 trillion) worth of damage to the environment with meat and dairy production high on the list. We know that because the UN has told us so.” The Vegan Now campaign will focus on educating the public about the effects of animal agriculture on climate change, habitat destruction, and biodiversity leading up to World Vegan Day on November 1. “I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal,” Mansfield said. “It is time for a new law on ecocide to go alongside genocide and the other crimes against humanity.”

Photo Credit: Bruce Adams/Associated Newspapers

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