Compassion is central to Green politics and to Carla’s and my vision for the Green Party and society. For us, this circle of compassion must extend to other species. As a vegan for 25 years and a member of Animal Aid since a teenager, I have a strong track record of campaigning on animal rights issues both within and outside the party. As the Party’s Deputy Leader, I promoted animal rights as a core part of our values, opposing animal experimentation and speaking out against mega dairies. I consistently campaigned for animal protection in my conference speeches and in interviews with the press including with Viva! and Vegan Society magazines.
I am a Board member and advisor for the international vegan advocacy charity Beyond Carnism. Dr Melanie Joy, President and founder of Beyond Carnism and best-selling author, said this week, “Adrian Ramsay has been enormously supportive of our work to help create a more compassionate and just world for all beings. I know him to be a strategic thinker who is highly committed to promoting animal rights, and to compassion more broadly, as effectively as possible.”
As a Councillor, I championed animal protection issues including campaigning against foie gras and speaking out against fox hunting. I achieved a ban on goldfish being given as prizes at fairgrounds and secured safer infrastructure for wild animals including a special frog road crossing.
Carla has been a vegan for around a decade. She has been vocal in her support of the “United Against Hunting” campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports. And she has successfully campaigned for better vegan lunch options both at Bristol City Hall and in her previous workplace. Six years after she left wind farm engineering, former colleagues still tell her that they turned vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian as a direct result of her work.
We both strongly believe that a Green New Deal must involve a green transition for agriculture. This must include supporting farmers to move away from livestock farming to free up land for rewilding, carbon sequestration and agroforestry. As CEO of the Centre for Alternative Technology, I promoted a rethinking of land use as a central part of our flagship Zero Carbon Britain project.
Carla and I also believe that promoting animal rights and successfully achieving a significant reduction in meat and dairy consumption across society will need to be done sensitively, recognising and understanding cultural and behavioural differences and norms. We must meet people where they are and bring them on the journey with us.
In conclusion, in our view recognising the sentience and inherent rights of animals is central to Green values on compassion and care for the natural world. We would be delighted to champion animal issues and work with Greens for Animal Protection if elected as co-leaders.