A group of healthcare professionals in the UK called Plant Based Health Online is petitioning for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his family to go vegan, saying that it would encourage the public to try a healthier lifestyle which is proven to minimise the risk of certain diseases and the impact of underlying illnesses on Covid-19, as well as being the only sustainable option for climate and the planet.
Plant Based Health Online, the UK’s first CQC registered online multidisciplinary lifestyle medicine service, has set up the petition for members of the public to sign in support of the call for Boris Johnson to go vegan. It can be signed here.
The campaign is being spearheaded by Dr Laura Freeman and Dr Shireen Kassam, co-founders of Plant Based Health Online – the UK’s first registered, online plant-based lifestyle medicine service – who want the PM to understand the importance of a healthy plant-based diet for human, public and planetary health, which would, in turn, provide cost-saving benefits to the NHS.
A vegan diet has been proven to reduce carbon footprint and water usage, with the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation estimating that the animal agriculture industry generates nearly one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention the deforestation involved. This would offer a good ‘practice what you preach’ opportunity for the PM as well as creating a significant impact on the health of the public and the environment when we are in a time of planetary crisis. In fact, it would seem like the most powerful and most sensical decision for any world leader to make in these times.
Dr Shireen Kassam, co-founder of Plant Based Health Online, and a consultant haematologist, said: “It is a world leader’s obligation to do everything in their power to maintain the policies they have set out. A whole food plant-based diet is key in tackling both health and environmental issues, so we’re calling on the Prime Minister and his fiancé Carrie Symonds – a passionate animal welfare activist and former vegetarian – to take action by setting an example to the nation. We believe that by adopting a healthy vegan diet for their family, Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds will connect with the problems at hand.”