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UN Association – UK and Guardian Live Debate – NZVS Member’s vegetarian question wins chance to be asked

Ex NZ Vegetarian Society Committee Member, writer and vegan activist, Maya Hammarsal submitted the best question to the London debate with UN Secretary-General candidates.

Thank you Maya for raising this important question to the UN candidates.


On Friday 3 June, the United Nations Association – UK and Guardian Live will hold the second of two debates, in New York and London, where members of the public will pose selected questions to the candidates for the next UN Secretary-General.

Writer and vegan activist, Maya Hammarsal, submitted the following question:

Our diet is killing us and the planet.  Consumption of meat and dairy products causes: toxic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, human and animal welfare abuses, major health problems, water shortages, life extinction in the oceans.  How will you wean us off our gluttony for flesh and save the Earth?

At this unprecedented event, Maya’s question will be posed to the candidates.

Worldwide input, co-ordinated via Avaaz and Global Citizen, saw over 35,000 submissions received from people in 161 countries – regarding issues pertinent to human life on the planet today.  With a final selection of questions being made by the NGO UNA-UK.

Maya said:  “It is amazing that a question pointed straight at the ‘Western’ diet, being the cause for so many of the maladies on the planet today, has been selected.  It shows that there is a growing awareness that the problems of the planet can be solved by simply changing what we put on our plates.

I’m tickled pink that this question will be posed and I hope it gets the next Secretary-General acting along new lines in regard to the environmental problems we all face and the sustainable solutions we need to make – including moving to a predominantly plant based diet.  After all as Gandhi said:  The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.”