2007 - 2022

Independent from Imperialism – Independent from Inequality – Independent from Fossil Fuels

Mim Black, one of the speakers at Scottish Independence and the Path to Climate Justice, argues that true independence for Scotland would mean “independence from imperialism – independence from inequality, independence from fossil fuels and independence from a devotion to profit above all else.”
2021 is a crucial year for the Scottish climate movement, with the COP26 (26th Conference of Parties) UN Climate Negotiations coming to Glasgow. At the same time, as polling for independence is at an all time high, the Scottish independence movement is increasingly splintered between political party machineries and reactionary elements of the Yes movement, with critical conversations about Scotland’s future not taking place.
The fight for climate justice and independence are potentially transformative moments to radically rethink the systems we live in. Our global political economic system has pushed us past breaking point, where inequality is not only accepted, but indeed required for profit, and those profits (mostly of large corporations) hold vastly more political weight than any needs of the people. The top 1% are responsible for double the emissions of the poorest 3.5 billion people, most of whom do not have access to electricity – the inequality is staggering. And the state-level response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been a game of who can kill the most people whilst making the most money. This is a mere curtain raiser to how we’re currently tackling the climate crisis. 
The vision for what Scotland could look like, and in some ways already stands for, is one committed to justice, fairness and equality. To make this vision truly a reality, we must be independent from more than just Westminster rule. We must be independent from imperialism – as both the colonised and colonisers – independent from inequality, independent from fossil fuels and independent from a devotion to profit above all else.
We must challenge the status quo, with the recognition that the global political economic system is deeply invested in maintaining it. While it may seem like there is no alternative, capitalism is only a few hundred years old and neoliberalism only decades. Without changing the systems and tackling the root causes which have created and embedded structural inequality and domination, an independent Scotland will only deliver more of the same, draped in a Saltire. And without systemic change, action on climate change is only deepening inequality, with climate apartheid and ecofascism looming both on the level of the nation state and within country lines.
The fight for climate justice is rooted in the understanding that those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis are the ones who will, and are already, bearing the sharp end of it. The climate crisis does not hit equally: we may all be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. While the elites (and richer countries) invest in safeguards, techno-fixes and hard borders to keep climate refugees out, it’s the previously colonised countries of the Global South – most of Latin America, Africa and Asia – who are being treated as sacrifice zones in the boom of extractivist mining for renewables, in the campaign to continue ‘normal life’ in the North. Similar sacrifice zones exist here in Scotland, with poorer more rural areas being subjected to toxic air and terrifying vibrations, as is the case with the residents of Cowdenbeath in Fife, terrorised by the ExxonMobil Mossmorran plant. 
Wars are being fought over lithium and water, while tech is built with ‘planned obsolescence”. Richer countries who have the infrastructure to decarbonise (like Scotland) must do our fair share now, so that countries which have extreme rates of poverty have more time to do so. The climate crisis doesn’t recognise borders. We are in a planetary crisis, which requires a global, equitable response, accounting honestly for historical responsibility. If Scotland is to be independent, will it step onto the world’s stage as a competitor in the mindset of scarcity, or as an ally to those worst off?
There has always been enough to go round – enough good food, clean air and fresh water, enough warm and affordable homes to live in. Can Scotland commit to really taking the steps needed to be an independent country that makes the deeply transformative changes which both end the climate crisis and work towards collective liberation? 

Scottish Independence and the Path to Climate Justice

Part of From the Ground Up #2: Take Action Now, a Global Gathering for Climate Justice to move our thinking towards how we can collectively tackle the multiple crises we are facing.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-the-ground-up-ii-taking-action-registration-144664839429

Comments (54)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Squigglypen says:

    Not enough that Scotland finally achieves independence? Give the country a chance….Rome was not built in a day and Scotland’s independence will be a game changer . Then we can look around us and see the inequalities..corruption…greed ..all inherited from a toxic union. We’ll get there…just let us get Independence first!

    1. Pub Bore says:

      Sorry! That’s just not good enough. I want to be sure I’m not being sold a pig in a poke marked ‘Independence’. I need to see at least a prospectus for what will immediately happen when the Scottish government wins its independence from Whitehall. There’s been a lot of wishful thinking with regard to this on the part of those who hope such a shift in power will be politically ‘transformative’, but the Scottish government, to which that power will be transferred, has hardly been forthcoming on the matter of the constitution of our future state. I need to be confident that the Scottish government will indeed use its independence to progress democracy; otherwise, it’s not worth having.

      1. Agreed.

        As Justin says: ‘How we reach independence will determine the kind of independence we reach.”

  2. Justin Kenrick says:

    How we reach independence will determine the kind of independence we reach.

    Will it be tolerant, inclusive, outward looking and a huge relief to be be caring for each other? Or will it be resentful, reactionary and restricting?

    If it is to be the former, then the movement for independence needs to continue to embrace these urgent and wider issues as we did in 2014, not retreat into tactical game playing that sacrifices an inspiring vision in the belief we can pull off a juggling with deceptive figures as the Brexit gang did in so many ways.

    The most challenging and radical point in this article is the bit below, because it gives the lie to the idea scarcity is natural rather than deliberately created to divide, rule, appropriate and exploit:

    “There has always been enough to go round – enough good food, clean air and fresh water, enough warm and affordable homes to live in.”

    1. Daniel Raphael says:

      “How we reach independence will determine the kind of independence we reach.” If ‘how’ entails the crucial ‘whats’ of independence, then this is the nail.

    2. Pub Bore says:

      The thing is that, as any dialectician will tell you, there are no such things as ‘means’ and ‘ends’, ‘hows’ and ‘whats’; there’s only praxis (process). Independence isn’t some final cause for which we work, but the process of our work itself. We become independent as soon as we begin to work self-reliantly and cease to be dependent on anyone or anything else for our lives.

    3. Robert says:

      “How we reach independence will determine the kind of independence we reach.”
      Fully agree with that statement, and with most of what Mim says in this article.
      What I don’t agree with are the smears about “reactionary elements of the Yes movement”—which we can all guess is meant to refer to Alba Party.
      It’s just not true. Alba is a progressive party with a vision of a democratic Scotland based on the sovereignty of the Scottish people.
      I’d just like to draw your attention to this particular passage in the Alba Party manifesto (https://www.albaparty.org/the_scotland_we_seek):

      “ALBA’s policy is that the Scottish Parliament should refer the setting out of the principles and framework of a written constitution to a Citizens’ Assembly. This should build on the work of the Scottish Sovereign Research Group and appoint a full range of expert advisors. These principles and framework should be ready for study, development and decision in a final draft by a Constitutional Convention, formed in the first three months of independence.

      The Citizens’ Assembly will not face a simple task, even aided by the work of its advisors. If a written constitution is to endure over the generations, and not become the plaything of future politicians who will not like its restraints, it must be anchored in principles, values and wisdom.

      The Citizens’ Assembly getting to grips with the contentious issues, and clearing the way to getting the fundamental principles right, will be of great value when a Constitutional Convention comes to do the final work.”

      What’s reactionary about that?

      1. It’s an Opinion piece, that’s her opinion, it’s shared by many many others. It’s not yours.

        1. Pub Bore says:

          And all opinions are equal?

          1. Sort of.

            We give free rein to people to express themselves within a framework that tries to avoid abuse. We commission a wide range of views. We allow people to dissent and argue freely.

            Some opinions are not allowed because they are too toxic.

          2. Pub Bore says:

            A sound editorial policy.

          3. Robert says:

            “Some opinions are not allowed because they are too toxic.” And it seems like Scotland’s newest pro-Indy party is considered to be toxic. I’m struggling to understand why that is, apart from your evident hatred for Wings and anything associated with it. You can dislike Alex Salmond—plenty of people do; I’m not a big fan of his either,
            but nobody needs to like everything about a party & everyone in it in order to vote for it. Unless you live in the NE you’re not even voting for Salmond, anyway—Kenny McAskill is the Lothians top candidate and he seems like a decent man and an experienced MP to me.

            Frankly, I think this is a mistake and damaging to the Indy movement. Plenty of readers of Bella won’t vote Green, for whatever reason; voting SNP on the list only lets in Unionist MSPs; so Alba Party has got a valid niche in the voting market, so to speak. I hope you’ll reconsider.

          4. My reference was to our Comments policy which restricts racist, sexist and misogynist views, and climate denial.

            Your framing of a magazine having an editorial position of not supporting a political party which is currently polling at 1% as an individual view is comical.

          5. Robert says:

            My misunderstanding. So you don’t think Alba are “toxic”. Good to hear that. Look forward to reading your balanced coverage of their manifesto. (Btw, I understand the polls are showing a range from 0 to 6 seats for Alba though it’s hard to be sure when they sometimes get lumped in as “other”.)

        2. Robert says:

          Correct, I’m expressing mine as well

      2. Pub Bore says:

        The more appropriate question is: ‘Reactionary’ in relation to what?’

        I suspect that, within the overall composition of its broad church of diverse political and moral agendas, the ‘Yes!’ movement contains both ‘reactionary’ and ‘progressive’ elements in relation to the various matters over which those agendas clash.

        The longer the unifying quest for Independence drags on, the greater the frictions and tensions between those different will become, until the movement deconstructs into destructive factionalism – which is what will happen post-Independence anyway if the uneasy alliance even does manage to survive long enough to achieve its goal.

  3. Michael says:

    This is really well said and absolutely the heart of the matter: “Without changing the systems and tackling the root causes which have created and embedded structural inequality and domination, an independent Scotland will only deliver more of the same, draped in a Saltire.” unfortunately, the SNP leadership seem to want to guide us to exact this terrible outcome where we will in fact have less power to influence our future as an independent nation than we did tied to Westminster!

    Regarding the root causes which have created and embedded structural inequality and domination – i.e., social and environmental destruction – we really need to understand that the force that is driving this is our monetary/financial system. Money is a powerful organising technology that is a platform for other technology to be built upon, and technology is really driving all our problems at the moment. Like all technology platforms, our monetary/financial system can be configured to produce different outcomes – for example, considering Facebook as a technology platform, it can be configured to fill your news stream with posts from friends, or posts from groups or more posts with a certain agenda etc. The monetary system works in a similar way. If the creators and distributors of money – private banks and governments – create and direct new money to the construction sector then we get more buildings and usually fewer trees. If banks make loans to arms manufactures, we get more weapons. If governments create money as grants to community projects then we get more community projects. Channel money to corporations and we get more corporate monopoly and social and environmental destruction. Where does most money flow to in our current economic setup? To corporations of course! So we really need to understand how these monetary and financial systems work and set about changing them.

    Regarding Covid, it was obvious that closing down the high streets would create a cash flow race that benefits the corporations in the long run. If corporations are the major recipients of cash and loans from our monetary/financial system they can weather the Covid economic storm and mop up in the aftermath of the small and medium-sized businesses going bust. Coivd means fewer SMEs and more corporate monopoly and more social and environmental destruction.

    What is amazing is that according to Oxford University Covid Risk Assessment* someone like me, in his 40s, has a 1 in 37,000 risks of death from Covid – that is virtually zero practical risk of death – and a 1 in 3,500 risks of hospitalisation (the risk of being hit by lightning during one’s lifetime is 1 in 3,000!) According to government figures life expectancy in England in 2020 was 78.7 years for males and 82.7 years for females and yet the mean and median averages distinguishing between deaths due to COVID-19 and all those involving COVID-19 are 83yo and 80.3yo.

    Of the 67,000 deaths attributed to Covid in England between June 2020 to March 2021, those under 50yo accounted for just 1,400 and of those 90-98% had underlying health conditions, which means about 70 healthy people under 50yo died – that is almost a rounding error.

    We’ve handed the economy over to the corporate world because old people are dying! We are all going to die! My grandparents have had to endure months of loneliness, but what has made it worse is seeing their grandchildren made jobless and their futures taken away from them. The BBC reporting yesterday that under 30s (already economically disadvantaged and at no practical risk from Covid) are hardest hit by far from joblosses.

    * Oxford University Covid Risk Assessment tool: https://www.qcovid.org/Calculation

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Michael, I am afraid you are misrepresenting Covid risks, somehow shoehorning them into a comment on an article concerned with independence, imperialism, inequality and fossil fuels.

      For a start, any statistics are retrospective and do not represent future risk (even lightning strikes should increase with global heating). Therefore you cannot say your risk is X, because of uncertainty. Part of this uncertainty is around the nature of the virus, the nature of the disease, and the capacity of the virus to mutate into different strains that cause different outcomes after infection. Part of your error is that you cannot compare lockdown risk with non-lockdown-risk. If the NHS had been overwhelmed by hospitalisations, the mortality rate will have risen (by an uncertain amount). If the disease had been allowed to circulate in a population unchecked by lockdown, the rate of mutations would have increased. With an increased rate of mutations, the likelihood is that some strains would be more lethal, or affect different vulnerabilities (some perhaps in healthy people, after all that was what the 1918 pandemic did). And more mutations mean a greater chance that a vaccine will not be effective against a newer strain. Also, with greater infection rates, key services might have been affected by staff absence, including those beneficial to the health of the populace. This is why so much attention was given to ‘flattening the peak’, to avoid the tipping point of having more cases than our health system could handle, risking a phase shift into a temporary vicious spiral or even a cascade failure. This is complexity theory stuff, which also applies to climate science.

      So even looking back, we cannot use hindsight to determine reliably what would have happened with Covid if we did not impose lockdown. We also do not yet understand the implications of long-Covid effects.

      Also, there is the ethical question of what (as a rich nation with a funded, modern health service) we should do to protect other nations, some with many people whose immune systems might be damaged by malnutrition, or pollution, or other diseases, or abuses, or warfare. The precautionary principle applies.

      1. Paula Becker says:

        No, Michael is correct. The risk of dying from Covid really is minuscule.

        1. Pub Bore says:

          …and has been minimised by the good hygiene rules we’ve been following and the vaccines we’ve developed.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Pub Bore, indeed. And the effects of coinfection with both flu and the SARS-CoV-2 viruses, at viral loads at various-measures levels, are still being investigated. We largely dodged flu season because of the lockdown. If there had been a substantial overlap with an average-to-worse flu season, the impacts may have resulted in significantly more mortality, significantly sicker people who recover, and extreme stress levels on NHS and other crucial workers. We might have been lucky, but we just don’t know what would have happened. There is no control group for reliable comparison.

          2. Paula Becker says:

            Since the mask mandate came in we’ve been using and throwing away 129 billion masks every month worldwide. Do you recognise ANY collateral damage from lockdown/tiers/masks or is it just easier to ignore it all and pretend it isn’t happening?

          3. Pub Bore says:

            Yes, Paula; I do. Following the good hygiene rules has incurred some dreadful economic and personal costs. Stemming pandemics does not come cheap.

            There’s no excuse for littering, however. People should always take their litter home and dispose of it responsibly. For reasons of good hygiene if nothing else.

          4. Paula Becker says:

            Oh how quaint!
            He thinks there’s a responsible way to dispose of 129 billion plastic masks per month.

          5. Pub Bore says:

            But no one has to dispose of 129 million plastic masks per month. In fact, I don’t have to dispose of any, since I don’t use them. I use the same cotton mask I’ve been sterilising and re-using for over a year now. If everyone did this, no one would have to find a responsible way of disposing of his or her plastic masks. As I said, there’s no excuse for littering.

            (BTW, I heard on the wireless this morning that India’s healthcare system is buckling under a record surge in Covid-19 cases. There but for the grace of God and effective hygiene practices… eh?)

          6. Tom Ultuous says:

            It could have been worse. Think how many masks it would have been had the tories not pretended that masks made no difference because their cronies weren’t coming up with them fast enough. This was at a time when Spanish police were handing masks out to the public on the streets. Guided by the seance.

          7. Pub Bore says:

            Yes, Tom; the scientific advice certainly changed on this as the research progressed. Nothing’s certain; ‘the science’ is always a retrospective work in progress. Who knows; Paula’s attitude towards our response to the pandemic might one day be vindicated? Then she can say that she told us so.

          8. Tom Ultuous says:

            I don’t think it had anything to do with science or research PB. The “advice” depended on the availability of the PPE.

          9. Pub Bore says:

            Why do you think that, Tom?

          10. Pub Bore says:

            And why do you think facemasks were unavailable. All you need to make a facemask is a cotton hankie and some knicker elastic, neither of which was ever in short supply.

          11. Tom Ultuous says:

            PB, they had the chance to join the EU bulk buy scheme (which wouldn’t have prevented them from sourcing elsewhere) but that would’ve left less pie for their cronies and less crypto for themselves. A lot of people (including medical professionals) died (effectively murdered) due to the PPE shortage. Why was there a shortage of masks? Perhaps there wasn’t a lot of money to be made with them. I do recall that when WHO were recommending the wearing of masks and Spanish police were handing them out to the public on the streets Johnson and co. were still claiming they offered no protection. You can claim the “scientists” were backing him but only his handpicked ones. Remember the ones who, after that all important last minute COBRA meeting (red alert which meant changing the bulb), backed the clown with his herd immunity strategy and his assertion “Don’t do cruises. Cruises are bad. M’ok.

          12. Pub Bore says:

            You have evidence of this conspiracy you allege, Tom, or is it just innuendo?

            Maybe you should put up what evidence you have. Or investigate the matter further in order to gather the evidence that would make good your allegation or at least make it credible.

          13. Tom Ultuous says:

            PB, the last minute COBRA meeting, the herd immunity and the masks supposedly being worthless can all be found by googling. The crypto I have no evidence of but I’m assuming that love isn’t at the root of cronyism. Not that evidence would be of much use. The story would only last a day and be discussed only on political programmes that conveniently clashed with soaps or talent contests.

          14. Pub Bore says:

            Yes, I know the science said that masks were ineffective. But the science changed – as it does. By itself, there’s nothing necessarily sinister in the fact that the science changed.

            To make good your conspiracy theory, you’d need to produce some evidence that linked that change with cronyism. A ‘smoking gun’, as they call it in detective fiction. Where’s your ‘smoking gun’?

          15. Tom Ultuous says:

            The “science” among Johnson’s hand picked “scientists” changed according to the availability of equipment. It wasn’t just masks. The pandemic hit the UK 2-3 weeks after it hit the rest of Europe yet, despite having those 2-3 weeks in hand, UK “science” was even further than that behind. You tell me why.

          16. Pub Bore says:

            I’ve no idea why, in the UK, the science lagged behind the science in the rest of Europe (if, indeed, it did). But do you have evidence that it was because of some cronyist conspiracy?

            Not long after the pandemic spread to Britain, John S Warren argued here on Bella that it might have been because the science in the UK was ill-prepared; that its capacity to respond to public health emergencies had been reduced as a consequence of decades of rationalisation. John’s claim was at least credible because it was supported by evidence. Your claim isn’t because it’s supported by no such evidence. Indeed, it’s so unevidenced that its worth can’t even be evaluated.

          17. Tom Ultuous says:

            There’s nothing to support your assertion that the science changed apart from your seemingly union jack waving belief in the integrity of government hand picked British scientists of herd immunity disposition. When most of the world is using masks but some weeks later Britain isn’t I tend to think WTF. When Britain does a complete U-turn weeks later I tend to think WTF. You tend to think “ah, the science has changed”.

            PS Don’t do cruises. Cruises are bad. M’ok?

          18. Pub Bore says:

            It was you who said the science changed, Tom, as part of some alleged cronyist conspiracy. That it changed is incontrovertible: from advising that wearing a facemask doesn’t reduce the risk of spreading the virus, it changed to advising that it does. That change is amply documented in the advice that was published over the period. What evidence is there that it changed as a result of a conspiracy among cronies in high places who were set to profit from that change?

          19. Tom Ultuous says:

            Nope. You were the one who said the science changed. Read your 23rd Apr 5.09 p.m. post and my reply immediately following.

            Also, at no point did I suggest “it changed as a result of a conspiracy among cronies in high places who were set to profit from that change?”. I said they claimed masks were useless when they were scarce and then changed their mind when they weren’t. Why were they scarce? Because PPE production was delayed so the tories could outsource the contracts to their cronies. That is why they didn’t join the EU PPE block buy scheme and that’s why Spanish police were handing out masks to the public while our “scientists” were claiming they were pointless. They suddenly became useful in the fight against Covid when crony production caught up.

            Why do I have to keep repeating myself here? I think they’re corrupt and sleazy and their crony PPE contracts resulted in people needlessly dying. You think they’re “guided by the science” (another finger-licking nausea from the tory soundbite crew). Can we not just leave it at that.

          20. Pub Bore says:

            But masks have never been scarce, Tom. Crikey! I made half a dozen for myself as soon as I got wind of the pandemic.

            And I know you keep repeating that it’s all a cronyist conspiracy. I’m beginning to get fed up hearing the broken record myself. Why not give the record player a dunt and move the track along to the evidence that supports this claim? As it is, we’re getting nothing but an endless loop of innuendo.

          21. Tom Ultuous says:

            From an article in the Guardian

            “The identity of many of the beneficiaries remains hidden because the government refuses to name the companies that received a great deal of public money, which is an eccentric way to behave if there is nothing to hide. As in the Dyson case, the suspension of the normal rules has been repeatedly justified by ministers on the grounds that the pandemic created an urgent need to secure critical equipment. Yet we are now learning that the “VIP lane” had the opposite effect. It didn’t lubricate the swift delivery of vital supplies – it gummed up the pipeline. Evidence in a case brought by the Good Law Project being heard in the high court has turned up an email from an official on the team tasked with sourcing protective equipment. The unnamed civil servant complains that officials were “drowning in VIP requests and high priority contacts” that “do not hold the right certification or do not pass due diligence”. Far from expediting the supply of desperately needed equipment, the reserved lane for Tory mates undermined that life-or-death endeavour.”

          22. Tom Ultuous says:

            From the Guardian over a year ago

            “The government has missed opportunities to secure at least 16m face masks for NHS staff in the past four weeks, amid growing frustration from companies who say Britain is losing much-needed equipment to other countries. As ministers faced relentless questions over a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals, suppliers said their offers to deliver UK-standard face masks were being met with silence from the government. And on another day of chaos over the government’s PPE procurement, a senior civil servant said that its decision to opt out of a joint EU scheme was politically motivated. However he was forced to retract his claim within hours after he was contradicted by the health secretary, Matt Hancock.”

            Google “shortage of ppe masks” PB. If you had the right credentials you could easily have been in the thick of it with your mass produced hanky masks.

          23. Pub Bore says:

            Good! The High Court will review the evidence the Good Law Project has gathered and determine on the basis of that evidence whether or not there has been any illegality. Then we’ll be in a better position to say whether there has been any cronyist conspiracy or not in the awarding of public contracts. That’s the way it should work.

            I’m a huge admirer of the Good Law Project. It does sterling service in the defence of democracy.

            Mind you, if the judicial review finds no evidence of illegality, you could always claim that the High Court, along with the scientific establishment, is part of the conspiracy too and that the review has been a whitewash. That’s how conspiracy theorising works and ‘conspiracies’ become global.

          24. Tom Ultuous says:

            If the High Court finds no evidence of illegality I’ll assume it found no evidence of illegality not that there was no illegality. Anyone who thinks this cronyism is all above board and that the taxpayer has not been ripped off should be sectioned.

          25. Pub Bore says:

            What cronyism, John? Where’s the evidence of it if it isn’t… well, evident?

            The suspicion of cronyism is certainly worth pursuing for the sake of public vigilance (a.k.a. the democratic oversight of our public affairs). But that suspicion won’t be proven until it’s proven. That’s a fundamental principle of logic as well as of law, as the good folk at the Good Law Project would tell you.

          26. Tom Ultuous says:

            PB, has anyone ever remarked on your uncanny resemblance to the character Colin Robinson in ‘What we do in the shadows’.

          27. Colin Robinson says:

            No. I’ve no idea what that is. But I feel another change of user name coming on.

          28. Tom Ultuous says:


  4. gahetacicl says:

    So I hate to be That Guy (relish it actually) but the Alba manifesto published today reads somewhere to the left of the SNP on climate.

    Green New Deal, “massive improvement in Scotland’s circular economy”, decarbonising “our entire transport system” and to eschew the SNP’s woeful tradition of handwaving rhetorical climate targets in favour of concrete steps.

    It would seem the alarmism about a Tartan UKIP was err.. a load of mince. It really is just the SNP for people who want to get independence done sooner, and for people intelligent enough to perceive the distinction between actual progressive values and the cultism known as “woke.”

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      You’re comment, to paraphrase Billy Connolly, will be about as welcome here as a fart in a space suit. If it helps though, I agree with you!

    2. Robert says:

      Well said @gahetacicl

  5. Tom Ultuous says:

    After watching Seaspiricy and Cowspiracy on Netflix I’m starting to think we’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic just so people can continue to eat meat and dairy. If you haven’t seen them then watch them.

    Why is there no financial incentives to eat vegan and disincentives for eating meat / dairy?

    1. Brian says:

      Probably because dairy/meat industry is hugely influential over farming and food policy.

      I think the question has to be asked is an industrial farmed plant based diet much better for people or the environment than an industrially farmed animal food based diet?

      Arable farming requires complete destruction of habitats to grow annual plants. Even if done using organic methods, tillage and other soil disturbance causes topsoil loss, carbon release from soil etc. And the fact is grains and plants don’t contain all the nutrients needed for human health. Certainly not in the same density as animal foods.

      Livestock can be grazed sustainably and convert biomass such as grass, tree fodder (which is inedible for humans) into human food whilst improving soil carbon etc. Sadly in many parts of the world and increasingly in the UK/Ireland reliance on imported feed is replacing traditional grazing practices.

      Agroforestry techniques, restoration agriculture are v slowly gaining traction but could be one answer to producing food sustainably and the majority of systems benefit from animal and plant interactions.

      Mark Shepard’s book ”Restoration Agriculture” is an inspiring read that outlines some of the potential.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.