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VEGAN CONSERVATIVES: Conservative MPs form group to expand ‘proud British tradition’ of veganism

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Andrew Boff (MP): The modern vegan movement was born in the UK, and as Vegan Conservatives we want to build on, and expand, this proud British tradition.

AMY JONES: Conservative MPs have formed a new vegan pressure group in order to expand the “proud British tradition” of the philosophy and way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. The Vegan Conservatives were launched on Thursday to promote a meat-free diet and “prevent dangerous climate change, reduce pandemic risk, and protect animals”.

To mark the launch of the new caucus, 10 Tory MPs pledged to take part in Veganuary – adopting a plant-based diet for the month of January. The group includes Crawley MP Henry Smith who gave up meat three decades ago because of what he described as “animal welfare concerns during the meat production process and its impact on our global environment”.

The MP for Watford, Dean Russell, said he was not expecting an “eureka moment to convert to veganism permanently” but wished to adopt a plant-based diet in the short term to “try new experiences and be more mindful of the food we eat”. He added: “I have had several constituents and friends tell me they have tried a vegan diet over the past year or two. So I’m keen to walk in their shoes to see what the challenges are and the health benefits.”

Other Parliamentarians taking part include deputy chairwoman of the European Research Group Andrea Jenkyns and MPs Christian Wakeford and James Daly. Former minister Tracey Crouch, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, will also adopt the diet one day a week. Andrew Boff, spokesperson for the Vegan Conservatives, said: “We’re thrilled that so many Conservative MPs are going vegan for January, and to officially launch the new Vegan Conservatives group.

“At the heart of Conservatism is a desire to conserve and protect our environment. Moving towards a plant-based food system is critical if we are to prevent dangerous climate change, reduce pandemic risk, and protect animals. “The modern vegan movement was born here in the UK, and as Vegan Conservatives we want to build on, and expand, this proud British tradition.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Glover, the co-founder of Veganuary, said it was “inspiring” to see MPs take part in the movement. He said: “Their leadership will hopefully encourage many more people to make a positive change in 2021 and try vegan this January.” The Government hopes to pursue a ‘green’ recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and has been keen to highlight its eco credentials ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) in Glasgow in November 2021.

In November Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a £12 billion ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ to help Britain tackle both climate concerns and economic damage. As part of the 10-point plan, he announced a ban on new sales of gas and diesel cars to start in 2030 – five years earlier than anticipated. “The recovery of our planet and of our economies can and must go hand-in-hand,” he said in a statement. SOURCE…

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