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Farmers drown out vegan campaign with pro meat messaging

A bevy of pro meat messages have been shared on social media and in the national press in a bid to combat anti-farming messages spread by Veganuary activists this month.

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Farmers drown out vegan campaign with pro meat messaging

Regenuary, an initiative set up by The Ethical Butcher, an online shop selling ethically sourced meats from UK farmers, is encouraging people to eat foods that are local, seasonal and farmed using regenerative methods.

 

The movement has attracted more than 1 million views and comes as a counter to Veganuary, an anti-meat and animal product campaign which takes place every January.

 

“It is not vegan versus omnivore, it is about making better choices about the produce we choose to eat and understanding how important it is to know where our food has come from and the impact it has on the planet,” The Ethical Butcher said.

 

“In essence, Regenuary is about asking questions."


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Industry organisations have also stepped up to promote agriculture, with the NFU publishing a month long programme outlining ways consumers can back British farming in January and beyond and an online hub detailing how farmers can help share positive farming messages to the public.

 

AHDB also launched its £1.5m Eat Balanced TV led advertising campaign, highlighting the nutritional benefits of eating meat and dairy as part of a balanced, sustainable diet.

 

AHDB’s chief marketing and communications officer, Christine Watts, said: "In Britain we have so much to be proud of when it comes to the food we eat, how it is produced and the entire journey from farm to fork.

 

"Our farmers operate to some of the highest standards in the world and this campaign aims to balance the negative commentary around farming as well as the importance of eating red meat and dairy as part of a balanced and healthy diet.

 

"AHDB is championing a message with consumers for a bright new year – eat balanced, enjoy the food you eat."

 

Horizon

 

 

Earlier this week, BBC 2 aired ‘Horizon: Feast To Save The Planet’, which saw five guests score the environmental impact of dishes they chose at a unique dinner party.

 

Reacting to the programme, David Rose, associate professor at the University of Reading, commended the show for exploring issues of seasonality, contrast of world systems and food waste, but criticised its selective use of data and quotes which slammed animal agriculture.

 

Mr Rose said: “I still got the sense that someone in the editing booth was munching on some avocado on dry toast while deciding what made the final cut.

 

“Using the amount of carbon used per kilo of food does not take into account all the other benefits of livestock farming, such as the short lifespan of methane or the role of livestock in regenerative agriculture, with a simplified ‘animal agriculture is bad’ take-home message.”

 

Mr Rose called for the numbers and methods used in the show to be looked at and for livestock farmers to be incorporated to provide some balance.

 

Hampshire farmer Iain Climie said he agreed that every effort must be made to reduce agriculture’s environmental impact, but food security cannot be jeopardised.

 

He said while the Horizon programme was a fairer reflection of UK agriculture, it did fall into some of the same traps as the BBC’s highly controversial documentary Meat - A threat to our planet?’ which aired last year.

 

Specifically, Horizon only made a ‘limited’ attempt to cover the ‘massive differences’ between different means of beef production in different countries, in terms of emissions.

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