This morning at Parliament Square in Central London, Vegans Support the Farmers laid out 133 pairs of pink wooden wellies to represent the 133 farm sector workers that took their own lives across the UK in 2019-20 (the most recent year of data available) .
The Vegans Support the Farmers Team stood in Parliament Square to raise the alarm about the crisis in the UK Farming sector and demonstrate that while Animal Rising campaigns for a plant-based food system, the organisation’s vision is for a food system that is just and sustainable for all life, including farmers.
Vegans Support the Farmers is an Animal Rising project that aims to work with farmers on three goals : a fair price for farmers, grow more food in the UK and import less, and listen to farmers instead of corporations
It also aims to fundraise £100,000 to support the mental health of young farmers as they face a mass of overlapping crises .
At Parliament Square this morning 133 pairs of pink wellies have been laid out in memory of the farmers and agricultural workers who took their own lives in the most recent year of full data. This was the launch action by Vegans Support the Farmers, an Animal Rising project that hopes to raise awareness around the challenges many farmers face, raise money for young farmer mental health initiatives, and break-down barriers between vegans and farmers .
Climate-change induced extreme weather events , shifting subsidies , labour shortages , increased input costs , and profit squeezing from supermarkets  are just some of the pressures facing farmers in Britain, all of which result in a huge mental health burden .
Animal Rising, formerly Animal Rebellion, has previously campaigned alongside farmers, for example, at the 2020 ‘Save British Farming’ protests , and the ‘Proud to Farm’ supermarket distribution centre blockades in October of this year .
Sarah Foy, 23, Vegans Support the Farmers co-founder, said:
“It was really tough laying out all of these wellies knowing that they represent people who should still be alive today and with their families. Someone taking their own life doesn’t just impact that one person, it has a long lasting knock-on effect in their family, friendship group, and community.”
“We hope that today helps wake people up to the realities faced by the farming sector, that our food system desperately needs fixing, and that we have to work together to do so. We need to be kind to one another and offer support in times of need”
“If anyone has connected with our message today, then please donate to our fundraiser for Young Farmers’ mental health, or take a look at our website to find out more on these issues.”
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Who Are Animal Rising:
Animal Rising are working towards a plant-based food system by taking nonviolent direct action and running grassroots campaigns, such as Plant-Based Universities and Councils. This is necessary as an urgent response to the climate and nature emergencies, and to achieve animal freedom.
Who Are Vegans Support the Farmers:
Vegans Support the Farmers is an Animal Rising project that backs farmer-led demands to help address the key issues as part of its work for a safe, just and kind food system. The project hopes to break down barriers between vegans and farmers to come to a place of understanding and collaboration. By stepping in to support farmer issues directly, and providing real support, it hopes to build a basis of trust between the vegan and farming communities. It is raising money for Young Farmers, a network building community among the next generation of farmers, which is really vital to their mental health. Through raising money for this network of groups, we hope to both extend support to, and build relationships with, real people on the ground.
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