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Veg*n Climate March, December 2007

On Saturday 8th December 2007, the Campaign for Eco-Veg*nism set out to coordinate the "biggest ever mobilisation of vegetarians and vegans on environmental grounds" at the National Climate March in London. We called on veggies and vegans to join a Veg*n Climate March, which in effect would be a `veg*n block` within the main march. See report below.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for more about CEV and the shocking facts regarding meat/dairy production which reveal that our diet is critical to the survival of the planet!!

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Sadly, the veg*n block never actually materialised! Instead, veg*n campaigners mingled with the masses, displaying placards and leafletting. This was primarily because the very few people involved in coordinating the event, didn't arrive till very late due to travel delays. As a result of this, there were no big/tall banners at the meeting point on Millbank, which would have enabled veg*ns to find each other and gather together. We suspect that some veg*ns who turned up, didn't take part because there was no veg*n block to join. We apologise for this.

Despite heavy rain, strong winds and near freezing temperatures, those that came armed with banners, placards and their own supply of leaflets, enjoyed a very productive day. Many thousands of leaflets were handed out, to both environmentalists and the general public. National groups represented and promoted at the march included Viva, Animal Aid, Vegan Society and Vegetarian Society. There was also a contingent from the Christian Vegetarian Association and we heard of individuals who travelled from as far as Romania to take part!! Other marchers were heard to comment that they had not seen anything like so many veg*ns at such events in the past.

Since we never actually assembled together, it is impossible to accurately estimate the number of veg*n campaigners that marched. But we spotted at least 50 such people ourselves, amongst the estimated 10,000 taking part. Clearly, we wouldn't have spotted everyone, so there could well have been up to 100 of us eco-veg*ns. Sadly, we heard from many more people that would have attended if they had not been busy elsewhere. There were more than half a dozen other events on the same day.

The march finished at Grosvenor Square where there was a rally. Speeches were given by a number of high profile campaigners and politicians, including the environmentalist and journalist George Monbiot, Michael Meacher MP and Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP. Caroline finished her speech by urging the crowd to change their diet for the benefit of the planet. She said that livestock are responsible for more climate gas emissions than the worlds entire transport system, and she said that a vegan driving a 4x4 does less damage to the planet than a meat eater on a bicycle!! You can watch her speech on our MySpace front page. http://www.myspace.com/ecoveggie 

Despite the obvious problems, we achieved what we set out to - the biggest ever mobilisation of vegetarians and vegans on environmental grounds! It was an extremely effective day, which may well result in hundreds if not thousands reducing their consumption of animal products or ditching them from their diet entirely!!

Next year, we intend to be far better coordinated. We will have big banners and tall flags at the start of the march to enable all those that wish to march in a block to meet up. We will encourage more groups/individuals to try their hand at banner making, you can be so much more effective with good sized banners! And we'll encourage other groups to keep the day as free as possible, to enable more veg*ns to attend.

To all those that braved the weather conditions, we thank you. We believe that without doubt, you helped create history! But don't become complacent, there is much work to be done. The lives of billions of animals and the future of the planet itself, depend on your continued eco-veg*n campaigning!!

WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN FOR ECO-VEG*NISM??

CEV is currently little more than a banner under which the Veg*n Climate March on Saturday 8th December 2007 was organised. We have been animal rights/environmental/veggie/vegan campaigners for many years and we feel (hopefully as you do) that the general publics concern about climate change (and general increasing interest in green issues) presents a fantastic opportunity to promote eco-friendly plant based diets, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet.

Originally, we had intended that following the march, CEV would disappear as fast as it was formed, but we are now determined that CEV will not just be a one demo wonder! We feel that by concentrating our campaigning efforts on the environmental benefits of vegetarianism and veganism, that a truly compassionate & ethical world really is possible within our lifetime!!

If you, like us, are interested in grassroots veggie/vegan campaigning from an environmental perspective, why not join us? We hope that, at the very least, local groups/individuals across the UK who wish to campaign from this angle will join our online forum/email list, MySpace and Facebook pages and share information, compare notes and speed up progress towards a veg*n world! We also have a website www.ecoveggie.org.uk , which at the moment is a very bare page but will eventually become a mine of eco-veg*n campaigning info!

With the help of likeminded people, we will work towards our ultimate goal - animal & earth liberation!!

USEFUL LINKS

Livestocks Long Shadow - A report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Nov 2006. This report exposes meat and dairy production as the major cause of many of the worlds environmental catastrophies
http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.htm 

Diet of Disaster - Viva!'s latest comprehensive and fully referenced report.
http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/hot/dietofdisaster/index.php 

The Campaign for Eco-Veg*nism
e-mail: ecoveggie@yahoo.co.uk
Homepage: http://www.ecoveggie.org.uk

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