On Friday, I joined Manchester Friends of the Earth outside Manchester Town Hall for a rainforest-free lunch, to show my support for their ‘Fix The Food Chain’ campaign.
Along with many other Liberal Democrat MPs, I am very concerned about the effect that the way in which we raise farm animals in this country is having on areas of natural beauty and global importance like the Amazon rainforest.
The livestock in many ‘factory farms’ in this country are being reared on animal feed grown on vast soy plantations, which are responsible for much of the large-scale deforestation that we see today in the Amazon. Communities are also being driven from their land to make way for these plantations.
On current trends, Friends of the Earth estimate that such practices will have destroyed 40% of the Amazon rainforest by 2050. They also have a significant impact on climate change, with the meat and dairy industry being responsible for one-fifth of the global climate-changing gases which are being released into the atmosphere.
Though it is difficult to have a rainforest-free lunch when we are eating meat and dairy, FOTE’s campaign shows that it is possible to farm animals without causing such significant damage to our planet. I fully support their calls for policies which will help British farmers to rear animals that are born, bred and fed British.