The AJP believes humans can thrive while simultaneously reducing our adverse impacts on the natural environment, particularly wildlife.
The human activity which has the most adverse impacts on the most animals is food production. Changing the way we eat can dramatically reduce our impact on animals. The AJP advocacy for a plant based diet is therefore a key plank in our environment policy. No organisation or Government can have an effective environment policy without food policy being central.
In addition to food choices, we measure all resource choices by their impacts on animals. In general terms, this implies we favour recyclable and upcycled materials over those which are consumed and thrown away. If two materials are interchangable, we favour the one with the lowest land footprint, all other things being equal.
AJP favours sources of clean energy that minimise habitat destruction or other harmful impacts on animals and the environment.
These principles drive policy decisions in all of the following policies with an environmental component.
The area of Australia is about 770 million hectares and our cities, towns and suburbs occupy less than 3 million of those hectares. Our biggest impact on Australia is via our food choices with our sheep and cattle grazing over 400 million hectares of native vegetation and a further 70 million hectares of improved pasture; meaning land which has been cleared, planted and fertilised.
But we know that Australia is full of wide open spaces, globally the human impact of the animals we farm is even more extreme. Wildlife is in retreat everywhere. It has been estimated that the weight of all the people on the planet is now 11 times bigger than the weight of all the planet’s wild mamals; with the weight of our 1.4 billion cattle being 16 times bigger than the weight of those wild animals. The AJP understands that our environmental impact on the planet is largely a function of food choices.
The mainstream environment movement’s neglect of the impact of food choices on the environment renders them fundamentally, if unwittingly, anti-wildlife.