Farming News - Dr Amir Khan, Lord George Carey, Henry Dimbleby & others join Compassion in World Farming at Oxford Literary Festival

Dr Amir Khan, Lord George Carey, Henry Dimbleby & others join Compassion in World Farming at Oxford Literary Festival

Farming & food systems, faith & animal welfare, and the politics of food among issues to be explored at annual Festival for writers and readers


A number of high-profile speakers – including TV personality and NHS GP Dr Amir Khan, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey, and author Henry Dimbleby – will be joining Compassion in World Farming Global CEO and author Philip Lymbery to discuss our broken global food system at this year's Oxford Literary Festival.


The Festival, which takes place between 16th and 24th March, will host five events including representatives from the animal welfare and environmental charity on Saturday 16th March. As part of the "Pasture to Plate®" series, the sessions will see these high-profile individuals discuss different aspects of our food system, with topics including the politics of food, 'good, better and bad' farming systems as well as religion and the ethics of animal welfare in food production.


Popular writer, TV personality and full-time NHS GP Dr Amir Khan will be in conversation with Philip Lymbery for the Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture, named in honour of the founder of Compassion in World Farming. With a special interest in type 2 diabetes, and as president of the RSPB, Dr Khan speaks with authority on the damaging consequences of factory farming on human health and the environment. The lecture, Transforming Food Production will take place at 4pm in the Sheldonian Theatre.


The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Farming will bring together one of radio's most famous farmers, Tim Bentinck (aka David Archer), journalist and scriptwriter Graham Harvey and farmer and author Rosamund Young. The event, taking place at 10am in Pursey House: Chapel, will see the three consider what defines 'good' and 'bad' farming practices, the role of the industry in today's society, and what the future holds for sustainable and environmentally-friendly food production.


Ambassador Emeritus of Compassion in World Farming, Joyce D'Silva will be discussing her latest book, Animal Welfare in World Religion: Teaching and Practice, with panellists from different faiths including former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord George Carey and Dr Amir Khan, who is a Muslim, at Religion and Animal Welfare. Taking place at 12pm at Pursey House: Chapel, and chaired by BBC broadcaster Francine Stock, the event will examine what the scriptures say about animal welfare and call on religious leaders to put these teachings into practice. 


At 2pm in the same venue, Philip Lymbery will be joined by founder of the Leon restaurant chain and author of 'Ravenous', Henry Dimbleby, and executive director of Waitrose, James Bailey to discuss The Politics of Food. The world of growing, rearing, manufacturing and selling food will be the focus of this session. Francine Stock will chair the discussion and examine solutions to challenges such as how to ensure the food we buy is affordable and healthy, what governments can be doing to tackle processed and unhealthy foods, how to make food labelling more transparent, and how to equip young people to have cooking skills for the future.


Lastly, the potential for cultivated meat to provide solutions to improve animal welfare, food security and climate will be the subject of Will Cultivated Meat Save the World?, taking place at 6pm, at Oxford Martin School: Lecture Theatre. Concluding the day's fascinating series on food and chaired by Francine Stock, this panel discussion will include: Compassion's Philip Lymbery; chief executive of cultivated pet food manufacturer, Meatly, Owen Ensor; 'the pioneer of cultivated meat', Ira van Eelen; and private investor Jim Mellon. Together, the panel will discuss the opportunities this new frontier in food offers for the climate, for biodiversity, for animal welfare and food security, and consider the obstacles to be overcome before it becomes a mainstream alternative in our diets.


Philip Lymbery commented: "This year at Oxford Literary Festival we're bringing together a fantastic line up of inspirational thought leaders to discuss issues linked to our food system – from its impact on human and planetary health and the political landscape of food to how alternative proteins can help improve food security and climate change. The way we eat impacts every aspect of our lives and it is imperative that we hear from different voices to find pathways to a global food system that works for animals, people and our planet.


"Our founder, Peter Roberts, would be honoured to know that someone as engaging and compassionate as Amir would be presenting the lecture in his name this year. Not only is Amir passionate about human health, but he is an advocate for animals and the environment. He echoes Compassion's desire to ensure the planet is a healthier place for future generations and possesses the rare gift of being able to communicate this in an engaging and compelling fashion, spreading the word to new audiences".


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