Eating British meat should be encouraged – it’s a moral good



In his speech to the extremist animal rights group Viva! – who brand dairy farmers as rapists, Michael Mansfield QC has suggested that eating meat could be made illegal, with offenders having to do jail time.

Whether you eat meat or not, no rational person should be remotely comfortable with the idea that eating it could land you in prison. It is incredibly concerning to think there are supposedly educated people out there advocating this sort of nonsense.

Now, I appreciate Mansfield is gagging for a bit publicity here, but he has probably done more to harm the environmental cause and alienate people than anything else.

Clearly Mansfield doesn’t consider that people like you and I would never comply with his absurd suggestion nor follow his words blindly. It’s obvious he’s surrounded himself in a bubble of likeminded people, that genuinely think banning meat is going to solve the very genuine problems facing our planet.

Those that are fixated on attacking meat eaters, seldom talk about the mileage clocked up by their own exotic & lavish food imports. It’s much easier for them to latch on to bashing meat, than it is to think about the distance their avocados have flown to reach them. They also can’t tell us what the countryside is going to look like, if a meat ban were to be enforced.

The green and pleasant land we love & wish to preserve was largely created by livestock farming.

Livestock production in the UK is based on grass fed systems and much of it is carried out on land which is unsuitable for growing crops. Removing livestock production would not only condemn those areas to be unproductive but would also remove a key driver that maintains the most beautiful parts of rural Britain.

Eating meat is natural and should be protected as a right. The human species has evolved with eating meat as a significant part of its diet. If you don’t want to eat it, then fine- no one’s seriously suggesting otherwise- but can you just give it a rest please Michael et al and perhaps look at ways of working with meat eaters, rather than issuing these banal & provocative statements.

Wanting to reduce the carbon footprint is laudable. There are lots of ways to go about doing it, with many people actively sourcing locally produced meat with a smaller mileage from farm to plate. This would be the logical way of doing the right thing and see no one put behind bars for eating a burger.

Mo Metcalf-Fisher is a political commentator and spokesman for the Countryside Alliance. Follow him on twitter: @mometfisher