Write a letter to your elected representatives about supporting ecological farmers
Here is a suggested letter that you can write to your mayor, state or federal official. Feel free to download this Word document and modify.
Dear [Elected Representative Name],
As one of your constituents, I would like to raise an important issue with you. More and more people in our community are beginning to recognize the critical health and environmental impacts of our current food system, particularly the rapidly increasing industrial production and consumption of meat and dairy.
Science tells us that eating too much meat is not good for our health, while eating plant-rich meals can make us healthier. In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified red meat as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ and processed meat as a ‘carcinogenic to humans’. In contrast, the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and/or nuts is associated with reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. In fact, studies show that people who eat more meals rich in vegetables and plant proteins like beans and lentils reduce their risk for heart disease and cancer — living longer, healthier lives than those with meat-heavy diets.
Too much meat and dairy is also environmentally unsustainable. Currently, livestock production contributes to climate change, accounting for 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, about as much as emissions from the whole transport sector. Agriculture, and livestock in particular, can also be considered as one of the planet’s biggest drivers of global biodiversity loss. Livestock is also one of the largest users and polluters of water on our planet.
In short, what we eat, and how it is produced, is making both us and our planet sick. Yet, there are very real solutions that already exist that we should be supporting with our hard-earned tax money. As my government representative, I am asking you to work towards:
- Ending subsidies and policies that support industrial meat and dairy products, and adopting subsidies and policies that promote the production of healthy fruits and vegetables from ecological farms, as well as better meat and dairy from ecological livestock producers.
- Adopting policies to cut public spending on industrial meat and dairy products while increasing economic support towards plant-rich options sourced from local ecological farmers, and replacing remaining meat and dairy by goods produced by ecological farmers.
- Adopting policies to drive change in dietary habits and consumption patterns, including setting targets towards less meat and dairy.
- Involving decision-makers from the health and environmental sectors in the design of agricultural policies, due to the wider impacts of the livestock sector on human health and the environment.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.