Israeli activists demand action against animal agriculture at climate conference

Published date13 June 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
In her efforts to promote animal rights and action on climate change-related to agriculture, Yael Hanna Gabay, the founder of the Freedom4Animals organization and a global campaign coordinator for the Plant Based Treaty, has encountered many obstacles from the government

"Everybody is always avoiding speaking about 'the cow in the room.'"

Yael Hanna Gabay, founder of Freedom4Animals

"Everybody is always avoiding speaking about 'the cow in the room,'" lamented Gabay, adding that while environmental and animal rights organizations continue pushing for action from the Environmental Protection and Agriculture Ministries, "nothing is moving."

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Gabay recently decided to take the opportunity to go to the climate conference in Bonn to see how pressure can be applied to the government to take action, as well as to see what Israeli representation was present at the conference.

The Israeli activist discovered that there was no Israeli representative at the agricultural part of the conference, despite most other countries having representatives.

While at the conference, Gabay joined with activists from the Plant Based Treaty to call on delegates to adopt the recommendations of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and sign the Plant Based Treaty.

The Plant Based Treaty is a grassroots campaign that presents a roadmap to combat climate change fueled by food systems. The treaty calls for governments to focus on plant-based agriculture and cut back on animal agriculture.

About 40,000 individuals, 750 organizations, 600 businesses and 16 cities and states have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty.

The "Israel Climate Save" organization has worked to encourage Israelis to endorse the treaty, with over 2,000 Israelis have signed so far, including MKs Eli Avidar and Yasmin Friedman, as well as Haifa City Council member Hila Laufer.

As part of the Plant Based Treaty's activities at the conference, Gabay helped organize a campaign to hand out plant-based hot dogs to delegates. While it was meant to be a one-day project, it was extended for three days because it was so well received.

"We gave out almost 2,000 hot dogs to delegates and everybody was talking about our food truck and everyone was smiling and happy to try plant-based [food] and it was an amazing reception there," said Gabay.

Gabay related how Paul Desanker...

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