Working Together

Amber Rout

2020

Working Together speaks to the possibility of sustainable, biodynamic farming systems, where food production and the environment can cooperate together. Amber shows that we must start working together to understand the different ways we can meet demands for healthy, affordable food produced by farmers whilst still prioritising sustainability.

So much of the current system is dominated by factory farming, high consumption of fossil fuels, high input of fertilisers and pesticides, as well as large-scale transportation. This incurs both environmental and social costs with high pollution levels, and malnourishment, obesity, low wage and even forced labour.

Instead, biodynamic farming, a more holistic, ecological and ethical approach “aspires to generate their own fertility through composting, integrating animals, cover cropping, and crop rotation.” Its emphasis lies in treating animals with respect, soil health and environmental sustainability, rather than just profit and productivity.

This challenges some of the major environmental issues that come with factory and industrial farming, and gives people a more sustainable, workable environment. This approach shows us that if we all work to support each other, where livestock, people and nature can all co-exist, a better farming and future that works with the environment can be found.

About the artist

Hello! I’m Amber, I’m an Illustrator from Norfolk and just graduated for my illustration degree. My work is driven by educating and inspiring people on matters around animals and nature. I like to use benevolent colours to show the kinder and warmer side of nature that we need to take care of. For me, I see illustration as a way to communicate complex issues without the need of using words.

How does this piece express intersectionality?

By considering and highlighting the nuances of the climate conversation and by platforming, highlighting and sharing often marginalised voices and perspectives the intricacies of the Climate Crisis and the necessary solutions become apparent. For many, farming is an important livelihood with strong historic and cultural origins. As such, it is necessary to support farmers and agricultural workers as their industry and sector changes in favour of more sustainable practices.

It is also important to recognise that, for many, transitioning to an entirely vegan diet may not be possible for economic, cultural or health reasons. Emphasising alternative solutions to complete veganism which accommodate these considerations whilst also fulfilling environmental and sustainability related concerns is important.

Amber shows us farming is about community, finding the best options beyond just the human, to ensure climate justice for all beings, from the human to the animal to the soil. If we balance our needs to eat, to care for the environment, to respect others, farming can become a positive force in all its interlocking connections with other industries and places.

How can you act?

Educate yourself about the current farming system and its effects on the environment

Educate yourself more about sustainable and biodynamic farming

Learn about how you can make your diet more sustainable and how you could be integrating some more sustainable habits into your weekly shop!

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