Tesco will offer a meat-free alternative for every animal product sold

Disgruntled farmers

While this news is music to every vegan’s ears, it has not gone down well with British animal farmers.

A National Farmers’ Union spokesperson said: “It’s crucial people are making informed diet decisions based on accurate information; when people buy British meat and dairy they are buying sustainable, local food, produced in areas often where it is difficult to grow other foods.

“The same cannot always be said for some highly processed meat alternatives.”

It is ironic that the National Farmer’s Union should mention ‘accurate information’, considering the recent advert by the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is packed with misinformation.

Firstly, the advert manipulates the viewer into thinking 100% of British farmed animals only eat grass. This is simply untrue. In fact, 73% of livestock animals are factory farmed in the UK, and not grass-fed as the advert insinuates.

Secondly, the advert claims that meat and dairy contain ‘essential nutrients our bodies need to help us stay healthy’. Again, the exact opposite is true. Meat and dairy have been shown to increase our risk of certain cancers and heart disease – two of the biggest global killers. Moreover, it is possible to find all your ‘essential nutrients’ in a plant-based diet, meaning meat and dairy are certainly not necessary for good health.

‘Our food system needs an overhaul’

Greenpeace has also hit back at the comments, explaining: “Our meat consumption is far beyond what our planet can cope with.

“We can’t just shift from industrial chicken and pork fed on Brazilian soya to UK beef, our food system needs an overhaul. We need a rapid shift to an agro-ecological farming system in the UK with policies that protect farming jobs and nature, tackle food poverty and produce less but better quality meat.”

Despite protestations from the farming industry, it is apparent that this move from Tesco is necessary, and will help to create this food system overhaul that we so desperately need to mitigate climate change.

What would our future look like if plant-based farming became widespread?
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