Without getting into a political banter, one thing we can all agree on is that different political parties in the US have different stances on many topics. With the recent changing of the guard, policies have changed—and will likely continue to do so. As vegans who are committed to the environment, one of the changes that is important to us is sustainability. What does the future of sustainability look like in this Biden-Harris White House?
Kamala Harris’ Focus on Sustainability
At a September 2020 town hall, Vice President Harris shared:
“I think about the point that you’re raising in a broader context, which is that as a nation, we actually need to have a real priority at the highest level of government around what we eat and in terms of healthy eating because we have a problem in America. I love cheeseburgers from time to time; I just do. But there has to be also what we do in terms of creating incentives that we will eat in a healthy way, that we will encourage moderation, and that we will be educated about the effect of our eating habits on our environment. We have to do a much better job with that, and the government has to do a much better job with that.”
In alignment with Harris’ statement, we certainly understand that switching to a plant-based diet isn’t always an all-or-nothing thing. We encourage you to take baby steps, if that’s what you need to make a commitment to yourself and the environment. Just think what would happen if the world ate no animal-based products for just one day a week!
When she was a senator, Harris introduced the Fairness for Farm Workers Act, which sets forward overtime pay for farm workers. And in July, she co-sponsored a bill to prohibit meat-processing plants from operating at high speeds.
There’s no doubt Harris is focused on sustainability and health. And she likely wouldn’t have jumped on the ticket if she and Biden didn’t share this viewpoint.
President Biden’s Plan to Reduce Carbon Emissions
While it’s too soon to say what Biden and his team will do to further sustainability, if his campaign rhetoric was any indication, he has big plans. His goals on the campaign trail included moving the country to net-zero emissions and 100% clean energy by 2050. Along the way, he endeavors to have carbon-free electricity by 2035. This includes putting the environment first, which means upgrading buildings and homes to be more energy efficient.
This is wonderful news if he’s able to achieve these goals. And it could go a long way toward making the world a much better place.
It should be noted that a climate action plan without a significant shift towards sustainable, plant-based foods is incomplete, and we encourage the Biden-Harris administration to adopt policies to encourage this.
Proposals for the Future of Farming
With a new administration in the White House, there’s no lack of people and parties that have suggestions for Mr. Biden regarding farming and sustainability. Food and Water Watch wants to start with these:
- Have President Biden issue an executive order to put a moratorium on large agribusiness mergers and enforce antitrust protections.
- Reinstate Obama’s organic livestock regulations to provide requirements for farmers regarding organic labeling.
- Protect slaughterhouse workers by allowing federal inspectors back on the lines.
- Root out systemic racism within the USDA that has blocked farmers of color from receiving aid from USDA programs.
What We Can Do Now
While no one can predict the future, we do know that the times, they are a-changing, as Bob Dylan so eloquently put it. For the moment, there’s one thing we can do for sure, and that’s change ourselves and what we do.
Eating a plant-forward diet is one way to make a huge impact on sustainability. A study out of the University of Oxford suggests that switching to veganism is the “single biggest way” to reduce our environmental impact on the earth. By just eliminating meat and dairy products from your diet, your individual carbon footprint from food can be slashed up to 73%. That’s a huge win for sustainability.
The Vegan Taste can help you reach these goals. We deliver delicious plant-based meals to your home that are easy to prepare (hey, they’re already cooked) and serve. See what we’re cooking this week! Your taste buds, body, and the environment will thank you!