Introducing ACTAsia’s Compassionate Choices Network: working together to provide Asian solutions to challenges in Asia
In the summer of 2021, ACTAsia launched a new initiate called the Compassionate Choices Network (CCN).
The goal of the network is to focus on issues affecting animals, people and the environment by using education to address, highlight and resolve harmful practices. My vision is that the CCN will instigate long term sustainable change and accelerate positive change in Asia. We invited selected Asian non-governmental organisations to join the network to promote a shift in behaviour patterns amongst consumers in Asia. The idea for the CCN was born from my years of working in the region, the success that ACTAsia has witnessed in our fur free Consumer Education programme in China and driven by a hunger to accelerate and extend impact across Asia.
Asian solutions for Asian problems
I am passionate about bringing together dynamic leadership and strong partnerships with Asian entities to reduce animal consumption, harm to humans and environmental damage by promoting responsible consumption and sustainable lifestyles. I believe that raising consumer awareness and corporate responsibility in production and consumption is key to the CCN with the aim of increasing recognition, interest and acceptance of sustainable plant-based diets and reducing the use of animals in everyday life.
What areas does the CCN address?
In order to achieve maximum reach and impact, we chose four key areas to address which encompass the challenges that the planet is facing through biodiversity loss and climate change.
By working together as a network, ACTAsia hopes to reach millions of Asian consumers through the extended reach of our CCN members.
Why is there the need to create an Asian network?
The concept for the CCN has been in the pipeline for a decade. During my 30 years working in this sector, I have witnessed first-hand the need for collaboration and how working collectively has tremendous benefits of scale. In creating the CCN I hope that it will create long lasting behaviour change across the region by:
- Sharing our collective vision for change
- Bringing together mid-sized organisations to share and scale up
- Highlighting and strengthening the expertise within Asia from member organisations so that others can learn from their success stories
- Supporting members to grow and develop by identifying their needs
- Empowering leadership across the Asia region
- Supporting Asian organisations in their growth and sustainability
Introducing our CCN Partners
Strong localised partnerships aligning cultural preferences are core to the project. Members have been sought from educational settings, plant-based food suppliers, sustainable fashion houses and renewable energy and transport sectors with the aim of promoting sustainable consumption patterns.
Life Conservationist Association (LCA) in Taiwan, focuses on cruelty-free cosmetics, animal welfare legislation and advocacy, education, publishing and cruelty-free certification.
The Good Food Fund in mainland China, joined the network to promote plant-based diets, food sustainability and publicise Meatless Mondays. This organisation is respected for organising a well-known conference in China called the ‘Good Food Summit’. Their focus is on food systems, farmed animals, climate change, hunger and health.
SHARAN in India, is an organisation made up of professional dieticians and nutritionists promoting a plant-based lifestyle. Their work focuses on holistic health, consultations and education.
Song Thuan Chay (STC) in Vietnam, is a vegan advocacy organisation promoting plant-based diets. The group has established a 7-day vegan challenge and they organise an annual plant-based festival. Their focus and expertise in social media have ensured successful festival and film screenings in the country.
The Animal Rights Centre in Japan, promotes plant-based diets and ethical consumption, lobbying for animal welfare rights and campaign against the use of fur, animal testing and foie gras.
No More Cry Bunny is an alliance of brands promoted by LCA. The goal is to promote the ideas of no animal testing and kindness to animals. Cruelty free certified brands are listed on the website for the public’s convenience.
Why does Asia need the CCN?
Asia is the earth’s largest and most populous continent, covering approximately 30% of the earth’s total land area and constituting approximately 60% of the world’s population. Many Asian nations have experienced rapid growth in material wealth but at the expense and suffering of animals, people and the environment.
It is well known that consumers do not always know about the origination of their purchases. Indeed, the use of ‘greenwashing’ has made it challenging for the public to decipher what constitutes a truly ‘green’ product and I find there is a disconnect in consumers’ intentions and actions – usually fuelled by a lack of information.
How can the CCN make a difference to everyday lives?
Sustainability is often viewed as a complicated and expensive concept for many Asian companies but I want to debunk this myth and educate future generations. ACTAsia strongly believes that in order to create long lasting behavioural change across the region, that we need a network that can support fellow member organisations by sharing ACTAsia’s vision for change. It is my hope that each organisation will bring their unique skillset to the CCN thereby scaling up and sharing the positive impact across Asia.