Supermarket Free Range Eggs
With news that Morrisons has become the first of the six biggest UK supermarkets to go free range with their eggs, we asked young activist Lucy Gavaghan to tell us more in this guest post.
Since the age of twelve, Lucy Gavaghan has been campaigning to change the way people treat animals and the world that they rely upon.
“Never have we been more engaged by the world around us, nor more enraged by what humans have done to destroy it.”Lucy Gavaghan
This recent move by Morrisons, means that all of their eggs will now be from hens that have outdoor access for at least eight hours each day, as well as nest boxes with wide perches and spaces for dust bathing.
In 2016, at just 14, young activist Lucy launched a campaign to stop supermarkets selling eggs from caged hens. The supermarket previously committed to moving away from selling caged eggs by 2025 following Lucy Gavaghan‘s campaign.
Young activist Lucy:
“After years of writing letters, I turned to online petitions to stop supermarkets selling eggs from caged hens. They have since committed to doing exactly that. The compassion shown by all who supported the campaign was overwhelming, and I’ve met some wonderful people as a result.
Ali Clifford (@incredibusy) and I met on the launch night of Margaret Rooke‘s latest book You Can Change the World. The work that Ali does to champion all things sustainable is truly wonderful.
Since my first big campaign as a young activist, I’ve continued to push for a more compassionate world for wildlife and domestic animals alike. Now, I’m delighted to be an ambassador of IAPWA and the RSPCA. Fundraising campaigns have also been a massive part of my actions in the last few years. Most recently, I’ve been raising money for the beautiful Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia.
For as long as I can remember, I have adored nature in all its forms. Nothing has changed here, I still love the natural world but the ways in which I think about it have shifted massively. Though this will partly be down the sunshine tinted lens of childhood fading, it’s also due to growing ecological and biodiversity crises.
This is a photo from a recent speech I made. Talking about the struggle faced by the planet and it’s creatures, I quoted the wonderful Sir David Attenborough. “The Garden of Eden is no more”.
It’s safe to say that, nowadays, fewer of us are under the illusion of a stable planet. If you’re engaged with environmental issues or interested in sustainability (which may well be how you found this lovely blog!) it’s tough to avoid frightening facts – and rightfully so. Climatic breakdown is a terrifying prospect, and one that we cannot ignore. Some of the world’s most vulnerable communities are feeling the jolting shocks of disastrous climate change and we are in the depths of the 6th mass extinction.
Finding hope amongst the chaos
So how can we stay positive? How do we hold onto a sense of optimism when it seems as though the world is falling apart?
Even Leonardo DiCaprio, speaking about his role as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change, said “If the UN really knew how I feel, how pessimistic I am about our future, I mean to be honest they may have picked the wrong guy,”.
DiCaprio said this at the start of his moving documentary, Before the Flood. This brings me to the first idea of fighting the activism blues. Whether you’re pushing to make the contents of your shopping basket a little more planet-friendly, or supporting your child in developing as an activist, information is power.
Information is power
The more you understand the threats facing the world, the better equipped you are to take action and the more valuable it will feel. If you can, watch the documentary or read about the state of climate change. See here for how to watch the film.
There are so many uplifting reads for all ages. Greta’s book is a wonderful place for an enthusiast or aspiring young activist to start. I cannot state strongly enough the importance of awareness in sparking the long term changes our world is yearning.
Lots of people are beginning to question the impact individual action can have. The argument goes something like this…What good is zero-waste shopping while industrial scale combustion of fossil fuels persists? This is forcing a false choice between either system wide or individual change – we need both. That basket of zero-waste produce is a message to the system that we want change. When enough people decide to switch, the effect will be incredible. Widespread individual commitments become a backdrop before which we must demand industrial, political and corporate shifts.
What you’re doing might feel small, refusing a disposable coffee cup or opting for palm-oil free products, but it is so important. Make choices that leave you feeling empowered and that leave the natural world that little bit happier! Your consciousness will likely inspire those close to you, multiplying the impact you can have.
Often, it can feel like calls for meaningful protection of nature are side-lined by the very institutions that should be making it their top priority. Maintaining pressure can feel pointless. For myself and many others, incorporating sustainability into daily life is a key source of momentum as an activist. Engaging with the world you’re fighting to protect can also be deeply powerful – seek out whatever nature exists close to you.
Now, myself and my Mum are committing to cutting plastic down… and I’ve fallen in love with a zero-waste shop called Unwrapped in Crookes, Sheffield. The shop is gorgeous, and their ethos even more so. Amongst many other products (food and non-food) they stock the lovely Earth Conscious deodorant. Unwrapped have adapted quickly to our time of social distancing and safety measures. We’re looking forward to reinstating our weekly shopping trip!
A future defined by change
Ultimately, fighting catastrophic climate change, we need every ounce of effort, action and imagination that we can possibly haul together. Nobody will be exempt from the effects of climate change. The movement must elevate all voices and activists, encouraging diversity at every juncture. There’s no doubting the fact that the planet’s future will be defined by change. I recently read The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a stark check-in with the reality of what we’re up against.
That in mind, we do still have so much hope. As much as the world will be altered by a changing climate, it can also take shape according to the compassion we show as a human civilisation. Be as informed as you can be; take every action available to you and please do keep letting the light in. “
See below for my 5 top tips for environmental activism, Lucy Gavaghan:
Instagram – @lucygavaghan
Twitter – @LucyGavaghan
Related posts by Ali –