Help us Hire Vegan Lobbyists Now
Legislation/Policy Article from

May 2021

Our goal is 10 lobbyists. But, even if we just end up with three going into the Farm bill, we’re going to have a huge effect that otherwise wouldn’t happen. The farm bill is everything. This is where those subsidies, or most of those subsidies, are developed and put into law, from conservation to forestry to nutrition programs to commodity protection programs.” -  Laura Reese, Agriculture Fairness Alliance

Agricultural Fairness Alliance

If you really want to create change, a great place to start is inside the U.S. Capitol building, talking to members of Congress and their staff. Now, there’s an ambitious plan to get pro-vegan lobbyists into the halls of Congress to counteract the enormous power of the meat/dairy and pharmaceutical industries. Big Pharma is, by far, the most powerful and monied lobby in the nation’s capital. Big Pharma would be out of business if people stopped getting all the diseases that are largely preventable with a plant-based diet, from heart disease to erectile dysfunction.

The Agriculture Fairness Alliance is looking for 43 champions so they can hire more lobbyists to make the case for plant-based policies. So far, the organization has been able to hire one lobbyist who is currently engaging with and educating policymakers on a host of issues, from the link between meat/dairy and disease to the huge role animal agriculture plays in climate change. The Agriculture Fairness Alliance needs 50 champions to pay $200 per month in order to hire its second lobbyist! So, far, they’ve gotten 7 change-makers to donate, including JaneUnChained’s Jane Velez-Mitchell, who suggested The Champions Club. If you join, you will get quarterly zoom updates from the lobbyist you helped hire and be able to ask questions about the process. There will also be a yearly (post-pandemic) party for the 50 Champions.

A Crucial Opportunity to Impact the Farm Bill

Every 5 years, Congress revises the “farm bill.” Almost everything the U.S. government does regarding food is governed by the farm bill. The Congressional Research Service says the farm bill “…governs an array of agricultural and food programs…. farm commodity revenue supports, agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit, research, rural development, forestry, bioenergy, horticulture, and domestic nutrition assistance. Typically renewed about every five or six years, the farm bill provides a predictable opportunity for policymakers to comprehensively and periodically address agricultural and food issues.”


The Current Farm Bill Expires in 2021... Now is the Time to Lobby for Change

The most recent farm bill was enacted in 2018 and expires in 2023. Among other things, the 2018 farm bill, “…expanded crop insurance coverage, amended conservation programs, reauthorized and revised nutrition assistance, and extended authority to appropriate funds for many U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discretionary programs…” says the report. $428 billion dollars will have been spent before the bill runs out in 2023. How much of that do you think was spent on encouraging Americans to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes? Attempts to transition food policy to healthier plant-based options are almost always crushed by Big Ag/Big Meat/Big Pharma lobbyists. It’s time to talk truth to power!

We need the government to help farmers transition to growing planets.

Subsidies: What?

“American governments spend $38 billion each year to subsidize meat and dairy, but only 0.04% of that ($17 million) to subsidize fruits and vegetables,” David Robinson Simon explains in his book, Meatonomics.

So, while the government acts like it is trying to help society by making meat cheaper, it is making everything worse for everyone. “We taxpayers are forced to subsidize the very industry that is causing climate change. That’s animal agriculture,” says Jane. If the government would work harder to make plant-based foods affordable and accessible to all, everyone would benefit! We’d effectively be able to fight diseases such as cancer (the World Health Organization has declared processed meat to be carcinogenic) and really begin to battle the climate crisis.

“Why are we putting into law this maxim that you can give half a million dollars to a dairy farmer to install a methane digester around their cows, but there’s no means for giving that half a million dollars to a dairy farmer who wants to transition to growing hazelnuts, like the dairy farmers in Wisconsin (we’re working with) want to do?” Reese is currently working with a number of farmers who are interested in transitioning to the production of plant-based products. Options like this should be presented to farmers nationally!

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