James qualified in Civil Engineering from University College Cork, Ireland and began working in the US for eight years. He became vegetarian in 1991 and went vegan in 2011 after learning about the impacts of the dairy industry. He lived and worked for seven years in South Africa. Working as a training provider in community water and sanitation. He subsequently completed an MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College, one of the leading centres for sustainability in Britain. James is the current chair of the Cork Environmental Forum, a local environmental organisation raising awareness and implementing projects in Cork City and County. He provides training on sustainability issues to community groups in the region while also preparing policy submissions on food and water related issues. In 2015 he set up the on-line magazine www.vegansustainability.com with Bronwyn Slater. This is issued four times a year with articles highlighting the enormous benefits of veganism.
In his talk James will highlight how we can restructure agricultural subsidies to Transition to an Irish Vegan Agricultural System. If farmers can get their current subsidies for ecosystem services instead of animal agriculture this will increase the income of 70% of Irish Farmers. This will also allow millions of hectares of land to be returned to native forests, grasslands and wetlands while increasing the food calories produced and reducing our climate change emissions by over 50%.