Former Ireland President Says 'Go Vegan To Save The Planet' At Environment Conference

Mary Robinson has been criticized for her comments - but stands by them
Former Ireland President Mary Robinson
Robinson said we 'all have to do more' to save the planet (Photo: Chatham House)

Former Ireland President Mary Robinson urged people to go vegan to save the planet at the One Young World summit in The Hague this weekend - despite facing a backlash for making the same request two years ago.

Robinson was reprimanded by her local council which asked her to withdraw the request, and by local farmers who accused her of harming their trade, when she spoke out on the issue in 2016.

But former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stands by what she said, telling almost 2,000 young leaders at this year's summit that: "Achieving climate justice, I believe, is the space race for your generation."

Hands holding the Earth
Robinson believes saving the planet is our key challenge (Photo: Licensed from Adobe. Do not reuse without permission)

Go vegan to save the planet

"I said [in 2016] we all have to do more," said Robinson. "We have to be more energy-efficient, we have to recycle, we must think about what we eat, we need to eat less meat, maybe become vegetarian or even vegan. And I got a big cheer.

"But, back in my country, Ireland, this didn’t go down too well and it ended up with the local authority in my county in Ireland, Co Mayo, sending me a formal letter asking me to withdraw those words, which I have not done. And I still say, and I still say.

"And the point is we do have to take a stand and we do have to make our voices heard and if people take action themselves, they are much more likely to use their vote and their power to change what government policies are doing.Individual action alone won't get us there even if we try our hardest; we need government policies."

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Plant Based News delivered to your inbox weekly.
PBN Academy launches with a selection of simple courses on health and wellness, how to rise a child vegan, reversing type-2 diabetes with diet and more. Join free today

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

(c) 2019 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

It's World Vegan Day