The New Zealand government is encouraging kiwis to “Go Vegan”. Yes, really. The Ministry of Health’s report entitled “Sustainability and the Health Sector” is encouraging healthier plant-based food choices for patients, visitors and staff at hospitals. It emphasizes the dire need to tackle climate change and reduce their carbon footprint.
Agriculture, after all, makes up 49% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. This large figure is, of course, the direct result of existing dietary preferences.
Reduction of both red meat and dairy intake is vital – overconsumption is disastrous to one’s health and the environment. The WHO has shown both are carcinogenic and cause cancers to grow – and that is not entirely what Kiwis want.
Naturally, the Vegan Society Aotearoa was delighted. Media spokesperson for the Society that works to raise awareness veganism, Claire Insley, said in a press release:
“We are delighted that this government agency is committed to addressing the issue of climate change and the population’s health by asking patients, staff and the public to reduce their meat and dairy intake. We fully support this initiative and are keen to help in any way we can.”
She even encouraged hospitals to start growing their own fruit and veg within hospital grounds. It’s a great concept to imagine, but it’s hard actually to see it happening.
The report also encourages driving less and using less power in buildings.