An online petition urging the U.K. government to support farmers transition to plant-based agriculture has exceeded 18,000 signatures.
Created by animal-rights organization Surge, the petition calls for 'a reform of how [taxpayer] money is spent', enabling farmers to move away from animal agriculture by producing 'more crops for human consumption or to rewild and reforest their lands'.
The petition is in response to Milk Your Moments - a £1 million campaign launched in an effort to promote dairy products - half of which was funded using taxpayer money.
'An exciting opportunity'
"As the U.K. prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 next year, we must lead by example, recognizing animal agriculture is a leading greenhouse gas emitter, and supporting those farmers who wish to shift their production to less environmentally harmful practices," the petition states.
"Given the rapid growth of the plant-based alternatives market in recent years, this is an exciting opportunity for U.K. farmers to enter this burgeoning new market."
Surge - which is co-founded by prominent vegan activist Earthling Ed - has also created an information pack for farmers to switch to plant-based agriculture.
The downloadable PDF includes testimonials from farmers - including Kumar, a former sheep farmer who is now moving to grow vegetables on his farm for his street food business - as well ideas for repurposing dairy equipment and tips on shifting to 'veganic agriculture'.
You can sign the petition here