Our latest campaign focus is food justice, and this term we’re looking at how we can make our food more sustainable. Here, SCM member Patrick reflects on why he decided to make a sustainable swap from dairy milk to oat milk. Head to Issue 163 of Movement for his dairy free muffin recipe!
CW: If food and diet is a difficult thing for you to think about, be aware this blog contains reflections on food and diet changes.
It’s well known that human activity has a pretty significant impact on our environment, and that this disproportionately impacts developing countries. As a Christian, I believe I have a calling to act to stop this. Firstly, the creation story tells us that we have a responsibility towards the Earth. This means protecting the wonderful creation God has made, and also ensuring that it will be around for future generations to enjoy, and able to support them. Secondly, we are called to fight for justice, and there is no justice in a situation which sees high carbon dioxide emissions by the rich primarily affect people with very little wealth, and make their livelihoods harder.
Making change can mean changing your own actions, persuading those around you to change, or influencing the government to bring in new regulations. While changing what I consume has a negligible impact by itself, I still consider it an important part of my Christian witness. It shows I recognise I have a responsibility to the world, and that I have hope in the future. Also, if I don’t make an effort to change, how can I expect to have any influence on the wider world?
The farming of animals for food products on an industrial scale is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Due to this, I began looking into veganism around the time I started university. Making an abrupt change to my diet seemed a pretty daunting task, so, already being vegetarian, I decided my first step would be to stop buying animal products (while still eating them if they were offered to me). Although I haven’t really kept this up, I have replaced most of my dairy intake by switching to oat milk.
When looking at reducing your environmental impact, I think it’s always better to do something you can sustain rather than try to do too much and rebound. Reducing your intake of beef and dairy products is a good place to start, because cows are the worst contributors to greenhouse gases among the farm animals. Milk substitutes also have the advantage of being a reasonably effective direct replacement in many recipes, making it a relatively simple change.
|Find Patrick's recipe and more in issue 163 of Movement magazine!|