This week, The Green Protein Report was published by Vegan Society NZ urging New Zealand to transition away from its reliance on animal agriculture and focus on developing a plant-based economy. “We need to value our resources better and reinvigorate our plundered landscape, we need to show the world that New Zealand is indeed clean and green, we are innovators and can provide top quality fruits, vegetables, and grains for export, as well as supplying our local needs easily and cheaply, something that our meat and dairy industry is failing to do,” The Vegan Society said.
The report points out that there are currently 160 million farmed animals in New Zealand, and despite claims that animals are treated fairly and kept in pristine conditions, the country ranks 30th out of 50 countries in terms of animal welfare. The report also points to the rise of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes—all preventable diseases that can be mitigated with a plant-based diet. “We need our government to encourage and support those farmers who see that the writing is on the wall for meat and dairy,” The Vegan Society said. “There is no more time to waste if we are to meet our Paris Agreement, our best chance to meet it is if we reduce our [live]stock numbers, especially the numbers of dairy cattle.”