A former Irish president, Mary Robinson, recently called for people to adopt vegan lifestyle in order to combat climate change. She received backlash for her comments and was asked to retract them, however she has stood by her words and refused to apologise.
Mrs Robinson has a foundation for climate justice and is also a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She faced criticism from the Irish farming community in 2016 when she said: ” I said (in 2016) we all have to do more. 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.”
Speaking at the One Young World summit in the Hague, which was attended by more than 1,900 young leaders from 196 countries, Mrs Robinson said: “Achieving climate justice, I believe, is the space race for your generation.”