Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Meat eaters should be treated like smokers, says vegan MP

meat.jpg

Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, has ruffled the feathers of British farmers by saying that meat consumption should be limited.

The vegan MP has argued that, although progress has been made in the realm of animal welfare, giving up meat is the only way to truly help animals and reduce the environmental impact of animal agriculture.

McCarthy, the Labour party’s new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has suggested that meat be treated in a similar way to tobacco, “with public campaigns to stop people eating it.”

In an interview with Viva! Life, a vegan lifestyle magazine, McCarthy describes herself as “militant” saying:

“The constant challenging of the environmental impact of livestock farming is making me more and more militant."

"Progress on animal welfare is being made at EU level... but in the end it comes down to not eating meat or dairy.” 

MP

Vegan MP Kerry McCarthy

McCarthy, who has been a vegan for 20 years and was a vegetarian for 10 years prior, is also vice president of the anti-hunting group, League Against Cruel Sports, and has campaigned against the Government's badger cull and fox hunting.

Tim Bonner, chief executive of The Countryside Alliance, was not impressed by McCarthey’s comments, saying that:

“Kerry McCarthy’s views on meat eating and livestock farming are completely out of step with the vast majority of people. Her ideas are verging on the cranky. This appointment is only going to make it more difficult for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party to reconnect with rural Britain.”

On the BBC Radio 4 programme, Farming Today, McCarthy added to her comments, saying that:

“The world is not going to turn vegan because I am in post. I have my own personal views about what I choose to eat, but I accept that we have a livestock industry in this country.”

“What I want is for the industry to have the best welfare standards possible, to be sustainable as well as economically viable.” 

Criticism has erupted all over social media following McCarthy’s comments, with people taking to Twitter to vent their feelings.

cow

Do you agree there should be a public campaign to stop people eating meat?

Following criticism surrounding Corbyn’s decision to appoint a vegan as the minister for farming, the leader of the opposition has come out against McCarthy’s comments, saying that he does not support the introduction of anti-meat ad campaigns.

Corbyn told ITV News:

“I am a vegetarian. I personally don’t eat meat and haven’t for a very long time.

“I think meat eaters, if they wish to carry on eating meat, that’s up to them to do so.”

“I tolerate it with the normal decency, courtesy and respect that you would expect from me.”

Whether or not you choose to agree with McCarthy’s suggestions, the fact remains that animal agriculture has an enormous negative environmental impact, and our current rate of consumption is unsustainable. Additionally, reducing the amount of meat we consume has been recommended by doctors for years.

Related

rexfeatures_944618a.jpg

Do we need women-only train carriages?

rexfeatures_4862767e.jpg

Labour's Liz Kendall slams 'unbelievable' question about her weight

rexfeatures_326762c.jpg

Judge says rushing gender equality could have “appalling consequences”

rexfeatures_4298114a.jpg

Apparently, applying make-up on the tube is really bad for us

ThinkstockPhotos-485804900.jpg

Anxiety reduces 1 in 5 people to tears every week

ThinkstockPhotos-488054692.jpg

More women over 35 are now having babies than those under 25

rexfeatures_5147839r.jpg

Tom Hiddleston gets naked for feminism

unnamed.jpg

Caitlin Moran is the funniest woman on Twitter

rexfeatures_4448577mj.jpg

Jennifer Aniston will be keeping her maiden name in marriage

Comments

More

At last - Britain's first gravy bar is coming

Finally, a proper way to enjoy chips

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

“When are you going to get hitched?” How to tackle intrusive questions

Useful responses for the most annoying of questions

27 Mar 2017

Oh, happy day: a live Sister Act show is coming to London

Featuring a 35-piece gospel choir and full band

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

Westworld creators answer one of the big questions about Maeve

And star Thandie Newton addresses the show’s violence toward women

by Amy Swales
27 Mar 2017

Women link hands on Westminster Bridge to honour victims

Many wore blue as a symbol of hope and peace

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

New report: endometriosis symptoms often “dismissed” by doctors

42% of women said they were “not treated with dignity and respect” by doctors

by Amy Swales
27 Mar 2017

Airline defends decision to ban girls from flight for wearing leggings

The incident was “sexist and sexualised young girls”, according to an observer.

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

Deliveroo is giving away free ice cream to make your Monday better

That's your lunch break sorted.

by Hayley Spencer
27 Mar 2017

Muslim witness of Westminster attack responds to Islamophobic trolls

A picture of the woman walking on Westminster Bridge has been shared widely

by Nicola Colyer
24 Mar 2017

Bright, beautiful and bold Easter cake inspiration

Stylish bake ideas to nick and claim as your own

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017