Charity & Campaigns

Animal Rights Switzerland Sets Out Vision to Make the Country Vegan

Campaign group Animal Rights Switzerland has launched a project outlining how the country could become animal-friendly.

The group describes how meat and dairy products could be produced through cultivation and fermentation technologies, removing the need for animal agriculture. Slaughterhouses could then be repurposed, or turned into museums.

Recreational fishermen could remove litter from rivers rather than catching fish, or focus on monitoring and photographing aquatic life. Contraceptives could be used to prevent wild animals such as deer from becoming overpopulated, removing the need for hunting.

To make clothing, leather and petroleum-derived materials would be replaced with alternatives such as mushroom or apple leather, and plant-based alternatives to wool would also be used. Animal protection laws would be updated to totally forbid harming and killing animals.

The activists now plan to share their vision with politicians and researchers.

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©Coop Switzerland

Falling meat consumption

The launch of the project comes after an independent Swiss think tank recommended that the country should eat an entirely meatless diet by 2050. Per capita meat consumption in the country has already fallen from 64.4 kilograms in 1980 to 47.3 kilograms in 2020.

At the beginning of the year, Coop Switzerland reported that sales of meat alternatives had surged by 350% in three years, with 63% of the population reducing their meat intake. Switzerland is also one of just a few countries worldwide where the word “vegan” has been legally defined for many years, due in large part to the work of Swissveg.  

However, Animal Rights Switzerland notes that its vision of a vegan country is still a long way off, with 84 million animals killed last year. In a referendum last September, 62.86% of people voted against making Switzerland the first country to ban factory farming.

“With our project, we want to stimulate a discussion about what an animal-friendly and thus vegan future could look like,” Céline Schlegel, Deputy Executive Director of Animal Rights Switzerland, told Nau.ch. “Implementing the vision will not happen overnight. A lot has already been achieved if we admit to ourselves how far we still are from living together with animals without violence.”

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