Deanna Nicholson

Deanna Nicholson

Prospective parliamentary candidate and vegan mum

As a family we first went vegetarian back in the 90s due to overfishing and bad animal agriculture practices. I didn’t want my children growing up on the poor quality type of meat that was all that was available locally where we lived. Over the years, thanks to our daughters who found lots of information on the web, we realised all was not well with the dairy/egg industries either. Our oldest daughter went fully vegan, followed by the rest of us about 8 years ago. My only regret is not doing it sooner but like most people when working full time and running a busy life you pretty much run on auto-pilot! It was around this time I began to understand the concept of speciesism and to get involved with animal rights groups. I have just begun my second term as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green Party in Mid Sussex and have been very clear about the need for change to our diet and farming methods to tackle climate change. This is the major platform I will be questioned on I am sure, as we live in a constituency with a vocal farming community. So I shall be pushing to dispel the idea that eating plant based is somehow “anti-farming” as we have some great arable farmers locally too. I am also standing for Town and District Councils in the upcoming local elections and am very proud to live in Haywards Heath – the first town in the UK to sign The Plant Based Treaty. On a personal level, with the people I come into contact on a day to day basis, I have found the most effective advocacy for veganism is to feed people delicious food that they enjoy and want the recipes for! In my professional life as a former 6th form teacher I saw how concerned students were about climate change and the threat to their future, so veganism and eating plant based gives them a way to a make a positive step that it within their control. Above all for me it is imperative that we need to follow the science, which says plant based eating is the key to vastly reducing climate impact due to agriculture, which is one of the major drivers of climate change.


R2: The role of cities in the plant-based transition

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the importance of making sustainable food a priority in council strategies, as highlighted by the Edinburgh City Council’s groundbreaking impact assessment report on the Plant Based Treaty.

Learn how cities and urban consumers contribute to escalating greenhouse emissions beyond their own borders, with nearly 80% of the world’s food consumed in urban areas and food systems accounting for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

Without focusing on consumption-based emissions, city councils will continue to widely underestimate the environmental and climate impacts of food consumption in their cities and overestimate the importance of local foods. Food consumption needs to be prioritized as highly as buildings, transportation and waste. 

Explore the underestimation of environmental and climate impacts of food consumption in cities and the need to prioritize plant-based food consumption alongside buildings, transportation, and waste management. Many cities and towns have jurisdiction over community education, food served in schools, hospitals, prisons and care facilities, as well as street festivals, and city-catered events, meetings and functions. 

Hear success stories from the 21 cities that have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, including Hayward’s Heath, Edinburgh, Norwich and Los Angeles. Be inspired by Edinburgh’s comprehensive 18-page impact assessment and learn how your city can take meaningful steps towards a more sustainable and plant-based future.

Plant Based Treaty (Saturday) full timetable