Veganic Leaders Speak Out at Global Rally Against Corporate Food Systems

Last month, a group of veganic leaders joined farmers, food, indigenous and land rights activists and other civil society organizations in a global uprising against the corporate takeover of food systems.

This United Nations has convened a Food Systems Summit this September that has been met with opposition from civil society organizations due to its is centering around the promotion of false solutions by large corporations rather than food sovereignty and people-led solutions. This is unfortunately in line with the increasing corporate capture of the United Nations and in response, many food, farming, land rights, indigenous rights and other civil society organizations are boycotting the summit. (Read this article by two peasant leaders of La Via Campesina: Here is why we are boycotting the UN Food Systems Summit.)

The Food Systems Summit was preceded by a pre-summit in July, which activists countered with mass mobilizations, both online and in the streets. The week kicked off with a Global Virtual Rally to Transform Corporate Food Systems, in which small-scale producers and activists from around the world spoke of the harms of corporate capture of food systems and shared solutions and visions of a People’s food system. The surge of global grassroots activism is already having an impact. The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems has notably withdrawn from the summit, stating “The world urgently needed a food systems summit, but not this Summit”.

Seed the Commons, a grassroots organization that fights the corporate takeover of food systems while working within a vegan ethic, joined the Global Virtual Rally with an intervention that featured the participation of several veganic leaders. Their 7-minute intervention was the only one, in a 9-hour event, to bring up animal rights concerns or to mention the possibility and benefits of farming without animals. While their intervention was supportive of the general messaging of the event, it also brought a necessary challenge to the hegemony of animal-based models in movements that oppose corporate agriculture. In reality, veganic farming is already being practiced to great success. It’s important that it be more visible.

The video features:

Nassim Nobari, co-founder of Seed the Commons. During her time as director of the organization, Seed the Commons played a central role in growing public awareness and interest around veganic farming and building a social movement for the widespread transition to veganic farming.

Liz Ross, Founder and Executive Director of Rethink Your Food. Liz Ross has a background in criminal justice reform, food justice and animal rights, and decided that the best way to effectuate change was through agriculture. She studied agroecology and permaculture and founded Rethink Your Food, which will promote veganic farming in the Caribbean region.

Amir Kassam, visiting professor in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading, UK. He is a world-renowned expert in Conservation Agriculture who has worked with thousands of small farmers to support their transition to sustainable, regenerative practices.

Helen Atthowe, a farmer, researcher and educator in the Pacific Northwest who has spoken widely at environmental and eco-farming conferences. She is a pioneer of vegan eco-organic farming methods who is now witnessing the resilience that these can bring as her region experiences extreme drought and wildfires brought on by climate change.

Fight the corporate takeover of food systems – and support these activists’ efforts to bring animals into the conversation. Watch and share their intervention at the Global Virtual Rally to Transform Corporate Food Systems.

 

Read more: Seed the Commons joined an international mobilization against the corporate takeover of food systems. We were the only vegans there.