Historic win for the Vegan Land Movement
A single enclosure of level pasture moorland located between the villages of Middlezoy, Othery and Burrowbridge and fronting Broad Drove. The land extends to 3.30 acres and is inherently fertile with good peaty/loam soils. For many years the land has been used for the grazing of livestock.
Plans for the land?
Our mission is to sensitively and ecologically repurpose land and to bestow it back to whom we consider the rightful owner, our Earth. By this we mean we consider the land to have inherent value and that “all things growing and living’’ to quote the author JRR Tolkien, “belong to themselves” As such we consider ourselves tenants of the Earth, only permitted to care for the land in ways which benefit Nature.
Consequently we are exploring a range of options for the land at Earlake Moor, Somerset. We will rewild, or in conjunction with local people consider in part establishing a community orchard. We are not in a hurry, as we want to see what already grows and flourishes naturally, which will steer us to enable the land achieve its full potential with our assistance. In time, we hope this modest piece of our earth will become symbolic of a world-wide movement of what can be achieved if vegans join together to remove land from animal agriculture.
The UK at present does not recognise that the Earth itself has any rights. We are working on this and a Trust structure to now protect Earlake Moor and any further buyouts in perpetuity. Other countries have developed structures to do just this and the VLM are taking guidance from these pioneering examples.
Land Buyout Press Release
THEY’VE ONLY GONE AND DONE IT!
THE VEGAN LAND MOVEMENT HAS MADE HISTORY
BY PURCHASING A PARCEL OF FORMER
DAIRY FARMLAND IN THE UK
On the 30th September 2020, Global Vegan Crowd Funder, the funding platform for the Vegan Land Movement (VLM), entered an auction for 3.3 acres of dairy grazing land in Somerset and WON. This represents the first VLM vegan community buyout of animal agriculture dairy land.
Introduction to the Vegan Land Movement
The Vegan Land Movement is a grass-roots movement that seeks to protect the land for all beings, now and for the future. Our mission is to acquire land – especially land currently used in animal agriculture – to give it back to nature and to the sentient life that depends on it, alongside repurposing into veganic food production systems. We have a vision of flourishing eco-systems that can sustain communities of all wildlife. The Vegan Land Movement is a pioneering movement, at the intersection of the fight against mass extinction and climate change.
Why the Vegan Land Movement Matters
Land is finite, so every bit is precious. There is an opportunity cost for all uses of land and the costliest of all activities is animal agriculture.
There are enormous ethical implications in eating animals; if not necessary, how can we justify taking the lives of sentient beings? Beings who, like you and me, know happiness, fear, love. When we help ourselves to the lives of others, we are simply enacting the attitude of entitlement that so underpins racial and gender oppression.
When we dedicate land to animal agriculture, we often destroy wildlife habitats. What we tend to think of as bucolic hillsides full of grazing sheep and cows are in fact ecological wastelands. Humans and their chattels account for 96% of animal biomass; only 4% is wild mammals. And this is because we have annihilated natural habitats and replaced them with pasture.
We believe that repurposing land is perhaps the most meaningful way to respond to the challenges civilisation faces. The possibility of recreating ecologically rich landscapes is not only a sorely needed practical solution, but would also provide a horizon of hope that symbolises the power of compassionate individuals with a common aim, that of protecting the Earth and all her creatures.
The Land Buyout of Earlake Moor
After posting the idea of collectively buying out this land on social media, donations flooded into GVCF along with many inspiring messages saying this provided a way for individuals to feel like they were making a real difference. With a total donation fund of £16,800 at 3pm on 30th September, the auction for the Earlake Moor land commenced. The excitement of the VLM team, along with all those that had donated was palpable; this was, after all, history in the making!
After a slow start at the auction, down came the Gavel at £16,000. We had WON! We were now collectively the very proud owners of Earlake Moor, Somerset, which is a beautiful 3.3 acre parcel of land previously used to graze livestock and currently surrounded by dairy farming.
What Will Happen to the Land?
Our mission is to sensitively and ecologically repurpose the land and to bestow it back to whom we consider the rightful owner, our Earth. By this we mean we consider the land to have inherent value and that “all things growing and living’’ to quote the author JRR Tolkien, “belong to themselves.” As such we consider ourselves tenants of the Earth, only permitted to care for the land in ways which benefit Nature. We are currently exploring a range of options for the land at Earlake Moor, Somerset; most likely the land will be rewilded and perhaps, in conjunction with local groups/volunteers we could consider establishing a community orchard or allotment. We are not in hurry, as we want to see what already grows and flourishes naturally, which will steer us to enable the land achieve its full potential with our assistance. In time, we hope this modest piece of our Earth will become symbolic of a world-wide movement of what can be achieved if vegans join together to remove land from animal agriculture.
The UK at present does not recognise that the Earth itself has any rights. We are working on creating a trust structure to protect Earlake Moor and any further buyouts in perpetuity. Other countries have developed structures to do just this and the VLM are taking guidance from these pioneering examples.
HRH Prince William and Sir David Attenborough recently launched the Earthshot Prize to ‘address the world’s gravest environmental problems’ by 2030. It is, however, obvious what the main problems are: a growing human population whose increasing unsustainable consumption patterns, particularly in relation to food, is driving habitat losses and extinctions. The solution is veganism, which by releasing land for rewilding and developing alterative food sources, would reverse habitat losses and return land in vast quantities back to Nature. 
Our vision is to unite people around this simple idea, which has begun with this small 3.3 acre plot of land. The VLM and this first land buyout is the start of what will hopefully be a powerful and transformative change to the way we live, eat, and view the world. To this end, we have started a subscription to VLM, where for just £5 per month anyone and everyone can become part of working towards this goal. Then we may begin to see more and bigger land buyouts by VLM, more rewilding of our Earth, more veganic produce for us all to benefit from and less species’ declines.
Both the globalvegancrowdfunder.org and VLM are founded on principles of inclusivity and community, where each individual carries the same value and influence, where all are welcome to put forward ideas and where each idea will be considered in the same way. We truly believe that the only way to create a fairer more equitable world is by building a community where everyone is, but more importantly feels, valued.
In closing, imagine for example, converting this intensive animal factory farm pictured below, into veganic mushroom production. This is where the power of the VLM lies, in building a community to effect real change.
We’d like to express our sincere thanks to Nicholas Taylor and Lauren Fitzgerald of Healys LLP (www.healys.com) for their invaluable legal help and advice throughout this process and enabled this historic purchase.
Lastly, the Vegan Land Movement is about all of us and for all of us. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors, who are from all over the globe – from Europe, India, USA and Canada and also from all walks of life, all coming together to make a difference. Here are a few words from some of the global vegan community who donated to help purchase Earlake Moor.
 Poore and Nemecek (2018). “Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers”. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987
 E.g. Ha (2019). “The Power of Plants: Is a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet the Answer to Health, Health Care, and Physician Wellness?”. Permanente Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6730944/
Medawar et al (2019). “The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: a systematic review.” Translational Psychiatry. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0552-0
Kim et al (2019). “Plant-Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All-Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle-Aged Adults.” Journal of the American Heart Association. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.119.012865
See also: PCRM recommendations https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets; and a selection of 2019’s studies of Plant based diets. https://plantbasedhealthprofessionals.com/the-top-10-studies-of-2019-supporting-plant-based-nutrition-for-health.
 Harwatt, H., and Hayek, M.N. (2019), ‘Eating away at climate change with negative emissions; repurposing UK agricultural land to meet climate goals,’ Animal Law & Policy Programme,’ Harvard Law School, 11 April 2019: https://animal.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/Eating-Away-at-Climate-Change-with-Negative-Emissions––Harwatt-Hayek.pdf