In 2019 millions of people came together to declare rebellion against the British Government. Led by Extinction Rebellion, people demanded that the government act on the climate emergency, and stop fossil fuels.
Following the incredible scenes on the streets of London in April 2019, the government signed into law its new net zero target – promising to reduce emissions by 100% by 2050 (when compared to 1990 levels). But the emissions have only been rising since. Nothing is changing.
We knew we needed to get people talking about animal farming and fishing too, because those industries are devouring nature and killing billions of animals every year. We needed to shift the conversation around climate so it wasn’t only about fossil fuels, and call for a plant-based food system. Animal farming and fishing is where 99% of animals are exploited; paired with mass rewilding, a plant-based food system is THE key solution to the climate and nature crises.
So in June 2019 we formed Animal Rebellion. We launched with 10,000 people at the Animal Rights march that year, with the support of the majority of animal organisations in the UK. We began the October International Rebellion by occupying Smithfields, Europe’s largest and oldest meat market.
A lot has changed since 2019, and we’ve changed too. We’ve achieved the goals we set back then. Most of the environmental movement agrees we have to shift towards a plant-based food system. We’ve made massive progress on campaigns to have universities and councils go plant-based, with lots of local wins in other animal campaigns.
We’ve mobilised thousands of people to take action on behalf of animals. Alongside local campaigns, we have also shut down every McDonald’s distribution centre in the country, scaled Government buildings, and stopped the supply of dairy to supermarkets. We’ve been in the media thousands of times globally.
Switching to a plant-based food system and mass rewilding is our greatest hope. But nothing has been put into a measure to act on scale. Four years have passed. We’ve seen the UK record its highest ever temperature while at the same time more towns and cities are flooded. Globally, we’ve watched California, Spain and Australia burn worse each year. We’ve watched the world’s deadliest flood in Pakistan. And in March 2023 we were told that there is no credible pathway to stay below the 1.5 degrees of warming required to avert global catastrophe.
According to the IPCC’s latest report, “there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”( IPCC 2022). To get to the heart of why this is happening and to change things, we must go deeper than graphs and economic models.
There is a solution.
We must create actions that capture the national attention for a real conversation about who we are, who we want to be, and the kind of world we want to live in – and the kind of world that is still possible.
We’ve always acted on both the animal and climate emergencies, because we know both matter to all of us. Our objective remains a plant-based food system, with support for farmers in the transition to rewilding the freed up land so nature can recover.
But we have always known that it is in repairing our broken relationship with animals and the natural world that we have the best chance of tackling the climate crisis. And the climate and ecological emergencies threaten all life, not only humans, but all the other animals we share the world with.
We act to bring about a transformation of society for all life, a reorganisation of our systems: economic, political, farming, and fishing. We act to bring about a food system that is safe, secure and sustainable for all life. This includes supporting farmers through dialogue and building together a transition towards this plant-based production system.
It sees these transformations as a way of making inequality – whether in race, class, gender or species – problems of the past. Our vision is of a world where human and non-human beings enjoy the abundant resources of our shared planet, live free, and have a voice.
We are all in this together. We act for all life.
This movement is Animal Rising.