Dear Friends and Customers,
On this historic day, I’m writing with a sense of urgency and hope.
Today marks the first full day of the COP 26 conference in Glasgow. There, world leaders have gathered alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens, for twelve days of talks that conference president and UK Climate Chief Alok Sharma has described as the “last chance” to combat climate change and what it portends for the future of life on Earth.
Against the backdrop of intensifying Global Warming that has already reached 1.2 °C, there can be no doubt that collective global action is critical. We’re all familiar with the devastating images of Climate Change’s effects: droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires. Island nations disappearing underwater. The bleaching of the world’s coral reefs signaling the death of our oceans, the world’s largest carbon sinks. While news of these disasters can be overwhelming, it also tells us we must take action. Now. Yet, we may feel powerless too.
The good news is we can. Every day. Beginning right now, in fact.
Today is also World Vegan Day. Around the globe, people are celebrating the ways in which making informed and compassionate choices empowers each of us to become stewards of the natural resources on which all of us depend now and future generations will depend on later.
As concerns over the huge impact of animal agriculture on the environment, human health, and animal welfare grow, feeding the world in a sustainable way is one of our most pressing challenges in the coming decades. By simply choosing to eliminate animal‑based foods and products from our lives, we have a major opportunity for mitigating and adapting to climate change.
“Here’s the hard truth: breeding and killing or fishing trillions of animals each year for food means we’re killing the planet one bite at a time.”
— Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni
In addition to contributing between 14.5% and 51% of global GHG emissions, depending on the estimates, the production of animal‑based foods occupies over 80% of the world’s total arable land and over 30% of the global water footprint, while providing just 18% of total calories consumed. Studies have shown over and over that replacing animal‑based foods and materials, plant-based, fermented, and cultivated alternatives can drastically reduce GHGs, freshwater consumption, and land use, in some cases by as much as 99%. Adopting a fully vegan diet is, in fact, the single biggest way any individual can take to reduce their impact on planet Earth – not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use. It is far more effective than cutting down on flights or buying an electric car.
For decades, I have been a hopeful and vocal proponent of removing animals from our diets and industrial supply chains. I have also been a strong advocate of vegan organic and biodynamic farming – starting here at Querciabella. Central to our dedication to delivering some of the world’s finest wines is our commitment to protecting and cultivating the natural ecosystems from which they’re derived. In many ways, this commitment has paid off. Perhaps most importantly, it has helped us demonstrate that working in respectful collaboration with nature and avoiding animal exploitation is not only possible but also a winning strategy for creating a truly sustainable, beloved and enduring brand.
Today we are facing a massive crisis, but also an equally massive opportunity to solve it. It is no exaggeration to say that this may be the most significant opportunity of our lifetimes. And so, it is with hope and optimism and faith in individuals to not only eliminate cruelty from their diets and lives more generally but also to act with a sense of responsibility for themselves and future generations, that I encourage you to use your power of choice for good – for yourself, for the planet and for all its inhabitants.
Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni
Querciabella Owner and Honorary Chairman