This one is personal.
Since climate change was popularised under the moniker Global Warming in the 1988, thanks to the vision of NASA scientist James Hansen, the prognosis has got significantly worse.
As an Australian, I’m mortified that the country has seemingly skipped the conversation on mitigation entirely, jumping straight to “resilience” and “adaptation” (read: ‘use the rest of the water’). It seems that all mitigation will be up to us as individuals.
Recently I came across a series of videos on emissions from animal agriculture by ex-climate scientist Gerard Bishop. They showed how the impact of livestock agriculture has been vastly understated. What people choose to eat is more important than I thought.
How we mitigate climate change depends on what we eat, and that depends mostly on our options. The shift to plant-based diets is both empowered by and limited by available options. Hence one goal of Fox & Possum is to help companies launch product lines to increase those options and mitigate climate disaster.
There’s a growing list of encouraging examples. At the top is Hungry Jack’s who have been advertising their vegan line proudly on TV. It’s is a brave move: it’s hard for food businesses to avoid marketing plant-based on merits that don’t undermine their other products. Imagine: “Hi, we’re Four and Twenty. Try our new vegan pie, it won’t kill you as fast as the other ones.”
There are real business concerns that would strike fear into any board of directors. Plant-based ‘alternatives’ to traditional animal products are growing fast. The pushback from livestock industry associations has been real and it will get progressively uglier as plant-based options become more normal (the ideas they need to marginalise are becoming progressively normal).
They’re doomed to fail of course. Soon vegan activists, staging lockups in hatching factories, will be recognised as being on the right side of history. And then anyone attempting to marginalise them will earn public ire. But they will go all out nonetheless, even as many animal producers move towards plant-based alternatives, empowered by benevolent entities such as refarm’d.
Until that day, I want to help businesses brand themselves and their product lines for success in a fast changing world of bifurcated world-views.
So it was a bit roundabout, but this is how we’d like our work in brand strategy and design to help with the big picture. We will work with everyone and anyone to achieve this end.