Olivier De Schutter / Professor

CPDR-UCLouvain / Law

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

I have been working for more than a decade on agriculture and food issues, and I am therefore particularly sensitive to the issues of land degradation and biodiversity erosion. There are ways to eat that can mitigate the impacts of our diet on these threats. I am a vegetarian, although I recognize the importance of grasslands as a carbon sink and the positive function that some forms of farming can fulfill in well-managed agroecological systems; as much as possible, I eat local and seasonal; I am affiliated with a solidarity buying group of peasant agriculture (GASAP), convinced of the importance of peasant agriculture and anxious to reward the services it gives us. In principle, I move only by bike or using public transportation, except when the use of the car is essential, for evening conferences in poorly connected locations.
I do not fly anymore, and indeed, following a small nudge from a journalist, I made that pledge public.
These are small gestures, which I do not see as sacrifices. They reduce the pain caused by the cognitive dissonance we otherwise experience between our awareness of the threats and the routines in which we are locked in. Such small steps also contribute to changing social norms, which can encourage policy-makers at all governance levels to take the bold decisions that our current predicament calls for. And this search for coherence gives meaning to what we do, to what we preach

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