Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, is one of the most passionate, knowledgeable and articulate politicians committed to changing our food system. It was a real privilege therefore to be in conversation with her in the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre last night, courtesy of New Writing South.
We were joined on the platform by sisters, Amy and Ruth Anslow, the people behind the newly launched supermarket company, hiSbe (How It Should Be). I was inspired to hear how they are bringing to their community decent food at reasonable prices. I was struck by their company ethos, which includes making the good stuff more affordable, giving honest information, caring where food comes from and how it is made, and refusing to throw away food that can be eaten; to me, it encapsulates a good antidote to the Farmageddon future that we might otherwise face.
Huge thanks to Caroline Lucas for rich conversation, to New Writing South for organising and looking after us so well, and to everyone who came along with their questions and enthusiasm. I spoke about how the new imperative is to build a strong, diverse social movement for change; to bring about decent, cruelty-free food for everyone forever. Last night, I felt I was amongst the people who were helping to create just that.
Next stop on the Farmageddon tour is at London’s Frontline Club tomorrow (Saturday 7th June), hosted by the Vegetarian Society, and starting at 3.00pm (doors open at 2.30pm).
It was quite a day. Earlier, I had the huge honour of welcoming legendary moral philosopher, professor and animal advocate, Peter Singer, to our Godalming headquarters. Peter, of course, is well known for his book, Animal Liberation, which helped kick-start the modern animal welfare movement. It’s difficult to overstate how important this book has been in laying down the intellectual foundations for what we are doing now. It was also the inspiration for so many who helped power the progress made for animals in recent decades. A milestone work, and one of the most important books ever on social attitudes to animals, Animal Liberation is just as much a must-read as ever.
Thank you to Peter for addressing Team Compassion; sharing stories about his journey to becoming one of the world’s pre-eminent thought-leaders on animal issues, how he came to know Compassion’s founder, Peter Roberts, and how we need to extend the circle of compassion toward animals.
It was great to also welcome Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy at the University of New York. Dale runs the Animal Studies Initiative, which supports education in animal studies. Dale was on his way to launch his new book, ‘Reason in a dark time’, about the implications of society’s failure to really grapple the issue of climate change.
And before that, I recorded an interview for BBC Radio’s ‘File on 4’ show about the role of vets in animal welfare and problems afoot in our slaughterhouses; being aired on Tuesday 17th June, 8pm.