Should Christians become vegetarians?

On 3rd January 2019, a new product hit the British high street. It sold out almost immediately, precipitating a nationwide launch and extensive media attention. The company was bakery giant, Greggs, and the product was the vegan sausage roll. Within weeks, Greggs’ sales had increased by almost ten percent, and annual sales broke through the £1 billion barrier for the first time.

That Greggs, famed for sausage rolls and cheese pasties, would launch a vegan product might have seemed impossible until recently and, while veganism may not (yet?) be entirely mainstream, it is rapidly becoming more acceptable. In 2018 the UK launched the highest number of new vegan food products in Europe, with one in six food products launched being vegan-friendly.

One in four household evening meals in the UK is meat free, and fifty-six per cent of consumers adopt vegan buying behaviours. This increased vegan activity highlights popular concern about animal welfare, the environment and what constitutes a healthy diet. How, therefore, might Christians best respond to this growing trend? Is eating animal products problematic to our faith? Might there be an ethical and theological case for the plant-based diet to be considered a legitimately Christian option?


Thus begins the latest Grove Ethics booklet, The Plant-based Diet: a Christian option? by Mia Smith, Chaplain at Hertford College, Oxford. The exploration begins with setting out the theological background to the ethical questions around plant-based diets.


The questions raised by veganism are essentially theological concerns, rising out of the human vocation: our God-given duty towards our fellow creatures, one another and the planet. Before we examine each concern, we need to explore our human vocation to understand why our diet is theologically significant.

The starting point is this: our species belongs to creation. We are not to God’s benefit, and we add nothing to his nature. We are creatures, having more in common with our non-human fellow creatures than we do with the creator. God’s loving purposes encompass the whole of creation, not just the human creature.

Creation is an act of grace on the part of the creator, both for creation’s sake, and so that creation may glorify God. Creation is theocentric, and no onecreature exists solely for the ourishing of another. Basil the Great stated that there were no creaturely degrees of being; everything created has the same ontological status. There is God, and there are creatures, and humanity is of the second kind, the ‘creaturekind.’12 The whole of creation, not just human- ity, is declared to be good by the creator, and creatures of all kinds depend on him and on the rest of creation (Gen 1.25)…

Animal suffering is therefore problematic to Christians, both because God loves and will redeem creation, and because cruelty diminishes God’s image in us. Animals belong to God, Karl Barth claimed, not to humans, and God requires an accounting of every animal killed for food (Gen 9.5). Barth recognized the ethical importance of animal welfare, stating that we must be ‘careful, considerate, friendly, and above all, understanding’ in our treatment of other creatures. The killing of animals for food should, Barth claims, only be done out of necessity, otherwise it is murder.

Once we begin to take seriously that God wants the whole of creation to thrive, then the need to respect our fellow creatures gains traction. How animals both live and die matters to God.

Christians should therefore avoid participating in food systems which prevent flourishing. There are strong arguments for following a vegan or vegetarian diet, as a protest and a prophetic choice. Christians may, of course, disagree about the elimination of animal-based products as a faith-based obligation. As David Clough argues, ‘The perfect seems to be the enemy of the better in this area of ethics.’ Others may prefer, instead, simply to buy products from farming systems which do not make us feel ashamed, especially by rejecting factory farming, or to consume less frequently, as a treat rather than as a staple. If we do make use of animals for food, then it must be uncontroversial to argue that we should ensure that our use of animal-based food respects their status as our fellow creatures of God.


Mia Smith then explores, in successive chapters, the ethical issues not only around animal welfare, but related to our own diet and health, before looking at issues of the environment and population growth.


The Bible indicates that care of our own health is important if we are to fulfil our human vocation, indicating that, as the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, God should be glorified in our bodies (1 Cor 6.19–20). We are permitted to eat all foods, but not all foods are beneficial (1 Cor 10.23), and whatever we eat or drink should be to the glory of God, as part of a life of worship (v 31).

Research by the Oxford Food Programme indicates that a broadly healthy global diet could save five million lives per year; a vegetarian diet, seven million; but a vegan diet would have the greatest impact, at about eight million. There is an increasingly strong body of evidence to support this:

  • The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as a class–1 carcinogen, the same class as smoking, asbestos and radioactive barium. All red meats have been classified as class 2carcinogens, indicating that they are probably carcinogenic, based on evidence of links to colorectal cancer. More detailed studies are indicating that risks of certain cancers are significantly lower inthose who avoid animal products. These benefits are (generally)noticed where animal products are reduced to occasional con-sumption, but are greatest when they are eliminated; for example, specifically, veganism seems to protect against prostate cancer.
  • Animal products, including white meats such as chicken, take much of their energy from saturated fat, which is associated with heart disease. By contrast, those on a plant-based diet tend to have lower incidences of heart disease and hypertension. Plant sources of protein such as nuts and seeds have been shown to lower cholesterol.
  • Non-organic meat and dairy products contain hormones and antibiotics, given to livestock to increase rates of weight gain and feed efficiency. These have been linked with detrimental health outcomes.
  • Vegans have healthier gut profiles, with an increase in protective gut bacteria and a reduction in pathogenic types.
  • Vegetables and fruits contain a variety of nutrients, such as anti-oxidants, polyphenols, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is therefore no surprise that increased consumption is associated with a reduced overall mortality risk from any cause.

In relation to the environment, Smith looks carefully at issues of greenhouse gas emissions, noting that the arguments related to livestock are not as straightforward as sometimes claimed. But there are other important environmental issues at stake.


One of the most significant ways in which humanity affects the environment is through the cutting down of forests to create pasture and for arable land to meet the demand for animal feed. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, cattle play a significant role, using eighty-six per cent of the energy from agricultural land, but producing only eight per cent of the food we consume. Over seventy per cent of the rainforest in South America has been cleared for ranching, and a further fourteen per cent for commercial crops, including soya for animal feed. The market in soya exports is now one of the largest and increasing international commodity flows, with over half of the soy in the UK livestock sector feeding poultry. The resultant overgrazing affects biodiversity.

Agriculture uses more water than any other human activity, with almost a third required for livestock. On average, beef uses more than three times as much water as chicken per kilogram of meat. This is mainly ‘green water,’ which falls directly onto the land. However, a significant proportion of water used is ‘blue water,’ from rivers and lakes, which competes directly with other needs, including that needed to maintain aquatic ecosystems. Water used to grow feed accounts for ninety-eight per cent of the total water footprint of livestock production.

[To summarise:] Evidence seems to indicate clearly that significantly reducing global meat and dairy consumption would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental pollutants, reduce deforestation and the overuse of land and enhance water security.

Climate change cannot be sufficiently mitigated without dietary changes towards more plant-based diets. Adopting more plant-based ‘flexitarian’ diets globally could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the food system by more than half, and also reduce other environmental impacts, such as those from fertilizer application and the use of cropland and freshwater, by a tenth to a quarter. Dr Marco Springmann, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford

After exploring issues related to population growth, Mia Smith returns to scripture, and engages with possible counter-arguements, including the observation that meat-eating appears to be assumed as mostly unproblematic in the Bible.

Agriculture and farming in biblical times did not include the intensive raising of livestock. Ellen Davis argues that for the Levitical community, eating meat would not have been impersonal and private, as it is today. Meat eating was tied up with sacrifice, and was therefore personal and public. Eating meat in biblical times was ‘extraordinary, rather than ordinary.’ If we stick to the freedom to eat what we like argument, then we fail to take into consideration the ethical implications of changes in contemporary farming practices, and in dietary habits and cultural norms.

Until recent decades, ‘meat as a treat’ would have been a common approach. Given the proven extraordinary demands animal products make on animals, the environment, and on human health, a return to extraordinary consumption—as encapsulated in the flexitarian diet—would be a positive step. A more radical solution would be to eliminate animal products from our diets altogether.

David Clough summarizes:

I appreciate that it is a big step to come to see what we have become accustomed to see as the ordinary act of eating animals as extraordinary, and to recognize that consuming the animal products of intensive farming may be in conflict with fundamental Christian beliefs about God’s ways with creation. I submit, however, that careful consideration of Christian ethics in this area…requires nothing less.


The booklet contains extensive references in 80 footnotes—so all the arguments are very well sourced. (All the information mentioned above is sourced in footnotes.) Whatever your current approach to your own diet in relation to animal welfare, the environment, your own health, and our stewardship of God’s creation, Mia Smith offers some arguments that deserve serious consideration.

You can order the booklet post free for £3.95 in the UK, or as a PDF e-book, from the Grove website.


If you enjoyed this, do share it on social media, possibly using the buttons on the left. Follow me on Twitter @psephizoLike my page on Facebook.


Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, would you consider donating £1.20 a month to support the production of this blog?

39 thoughts on “Should Christians become vegetarians?”

  1. Thanks Ian

    This looks like a timely and serious contribution to an important issue. And clearly something significant needs to be done globally. I look forward to reading it.

    Does the book offer up suggestions for employment and payment to the hundreds of millions worldwide employed in the farming/meat/dairy/ leather industry whose jobs and livelihoods will be effected were the thesis to be wholesale employed?

    What thought for the devastation to farming communities, their lives, livelihoods, not to mention obviously the livestock culled by becoming redundant.

    Industry and economy, lives and livelihoods notwithstanding, rather sad to think the only cow and sheep and chicken and pig we will see is in a zoo or community farm?

    A massive shift to Veganism will indeed have considerable long term benefits but I don’t hear anyone talking about the Immediate disaster that would ensue.

    • No, but it does talk about the issues in relation to local culture. I think like all things, a steady change rather than cliff-edge gives time for people to adjust and economies to recalibrate.

  2. Eating meat is a global issue.
    A startling illustration of this comes from xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1338/

    Land use is another issue. A long time ago (90’s) I saw some numbers about the numer of acres of agricultural land was needed per person from different countries. While the average person in India needed 1 acre, the average person in the Netherlands 7 acres and the average person in the USA 11 acres. I guess this is largely dependent on the amount of meat being eaten.

    If only bacon were not so nice!

    • Bacon and ham are particularly bad for human health as they contain nitrates and nitrites, which have been shown to cause cancer. I no longer eat bacon and have switched to ham which doesnt contain such nasties.

      Personally I eat mainly chicken and fish, though these have their own issues. I dont think Id want to be vegetarian, but if we all cut down particularly in our red meat consumption, there’s little doubt it could make significant improvements both to human health and the environment.

  3. This issue is so often painted as very simple and straightforward, when it is far from being so.

    There is no doubt that eating less meat would be beneficial, but let us not suppose that all grassland could be made over to growing grain or other foods that humans could eat. If we were all vegetarians a large part of the UK would simply be left to grow wild and produce no food at all.

    If it were possible to cultivate all the present grassland for food, our farm animals would probably become extinct as many are not adapted for living in the wild without intervention from farmers. The environment would also be changed and this would also have an impact on wildlife some positive and some negative.

    However, by using less grain and other fodder crops for animals and re-purposing some of the land to food we could still produce meat in the UK less intensively. We would then have to eat less meat. The meat available would also be more expensive so the poor might be forced to become vegetarian. The environment would probably improve for our native wildlife and welfare conditions for farm animals would probably improve. Please also remember that you cannot have a dairy industry without beef!

    Less intensive agriculture sounds good, but remember we still have to feed people.

    Another factor to consider is that many vegetarian or vegan food are not sustainability produced. Almond milk – very popular I believe is very damaging to the environment as is soya. Finding vegetarian food affordable to the poor that are sustainable might be difficult. I today I read of a mother whose child almost starved to death because they fed her a vegan diet that did not contain the appropriate nutrients. I know someone who was vegetarian but when she became seriously ill was advised to eat meat for medical reasons.

    A doctor I know is clear that from the evidence of our bodies, humans were created as omnivores. Scientists have suggested that ancient humans’ success is at least in part because they did eat meat and therefore did not have to spend all their time eating. If God created us as omnivores then I find any theology that suggests we should be vegans difficult to understand.

    In short we should eat less meat and try and produce it less intensively, but we should remember we have to feed everyone including the poor.

    • Hi Nick,
      I agree that we are basically omnivores. I would suggest that veganism is only possible because of our modern understanding of nutrition. There are some essential things our bodies need which are very hard to find in the vegetable environment. I understand that vegans have to be careful to source these things.

      However, I’m not sure the proportion of meat in a diet was high in the distant past. There was a TV programme some time ago which looked at one of the last true hunter-gatherer tribes in Southern Africa. Not surprisingly, the men hunted and the women and children gathered. A startling statistic given was that 90% of the protein eaten by the tribe was gathered. The 10% provided by the meat was enough to provide as well the essential nutrients one gets from it.

      Umberto Eco wrote an article in the year 2000 about the significant changes around the year 1000*. One was the development of the cultivation of peas and beans. This led to a much healthier life for those at the bottom of the pile. Ordinary people could get adequate protein.

      (* The other was the development of the transom-hung rudder, which enabled larger ships for trade.)

  4. As Nick says the issue is far more complex. There seems to be no examination her of our fruit diet in the garden, vegetarian diet after the fall and omnivorous diet after the flood. What are the theological implications? We know Jesus are meat and fish. Paul’s comments in 1 Cor 8 are about meat offered to idols, not giving offence and respecting the feeling those “who are weak” there is no merit either by eating or refraining from eating meat. Due to being creatures we may have more in common with animals than with God but humanity is the only creature made in the image of God.
    As for environmental issues, the less meat eaten the less animals are farmed and whilst the need for factory farming will be a benefit any reduction in the supply of organic fertiliser and manure will cause a reduction in soil quality and increase demand for chemical fertilisers and a consequential increase emissions due to the industrial activity.
    Farmers see the answer to the need to increase food production in GM crops which is another whole can of worms.

        • Yes, could be; although as the Lord clothed their parents with animal skins I guess that would be a principle to emulate and if you slaughter the animal why waste it?

        • I read one theory years ago in a book on blood in the Bible, that God instituted the slaying of a lamb in Eden to atone for their sins/clothe them from the fall and modelled to them the need for blood sacrifice and that Abel kept sacrificial animals – it’s a theory but not un reasonable?

      • Guys, are we talking about a literal Fall, literal sheep, and literal wool? Are you maybe reading too much into a story about origins, where most people today would accept that much is mythical. Do we need to look for ‘profound instructions’ from God about meat-eating, based on a story which was not addressing this at all?

        I think we can over egg the pudding when we try to dissect the Bible like this, sort of hijacking the original narrative, and using ‘clues’ we find to make determinations on completely different subjects.

        And like I say, ‘After the Fall’? When exactly was ‘The Fall?’ It’s an origins myth, which has been adopted as a theological concept, but it wasn’t an actual event, was it? And people didn’t suddenly start eating vegetables after a mythical person committed a sin, or start eating meat after an imaginary and mythical person supposedly sailed in a boat, with the entire species of the world’s wild life, in a Flood up to the highest mountains that most sane and informed scientists would say never happened.

        This is taking useful myth, and then literalising it, even down to the details of the vegetables! That’s the fundamentalist approach. I think it’s superimposing our own ideas on a text and narrative that the authors never intended to be used that way.

        These are stories, guys. Beautiful, wonderful stories. Profound, insightful, an outcome of faith in God… but meant to operate as myths, and meant to connect with us at that mythical and almost ritualistic level… none of it is a prescription for eating vegetables or eating meat, or even eating lab-produced synthetic protein of the future.

        • Hi Susannah, you’d probably best argue that one with Jesus and the apostles:
          “As Jonah was three days in the belly of the fish” Jesus
          “Through one man sin entered the world” Paul
          “ in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” Peter

          When you say ‘most people’ what percentage of the bible- reading population of the world do you mean?

          • As for this:

            “Hi Susannah, you’d probably best argue that one with Jesus and the apostles:
            “As Jonah was three days in the belly of the fish” Jesus
            “Through one man sin entered the world” Paul
            “ in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” Peter

            When you say ‘most people’ what percentage of the bible- reading population of the world do you mean?”

            Jesus taught in parables. They are fiction not fact. But they contain and convey truths — more, the Truth. Using or refer to a myth or parable doesn’t make it fact, doesn’t mean it is true in any sense other the way that stories can be, and are often “true”.

          • PS when you take communion are you literally eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood? Pretty sure you take that as some kind of symbol or metaphor. So it’s not as if you read all of the Bible in a strictly literal sense.

            (Although I remember once asking an old priest of he believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. “My dear boy” he replied “I believe in the Real Presence of Christ in all things.”)

          • Hello Oliver, when you state ‘They are fiction not fact’ it’s clearly an assertion which cannot be proved either way. I wonder what parameters you use to distinguish between fact and myth. Was a man named Lazarus brought back to life or was it a parabolic myth? Eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood is a real spiritual experience. I’m not sure how you decide what is fact or myth apart from personal preference. I don’t automatically write off events in the bible which offend the modern educated mind as myth. I am happy to reserve judgment on making such conclusions so as not to slip into unbelief about God’s work in history.

          • I agree with you, Peter. The Christian world appears surprisingly plentiful of scriptural mythicizers.

          • “I’m not sure how you decide what is fact or myth apart from personal preference.”

            When the text says “Jesus told them this parable” then I take it as pretty good clue that what follows either didn’t actually happen (i.e. Jesus made it up) or, at the very least, if it did happen it’s value lies in not in it being “real” “fact” but in what it teaches us as a story.

            “I don’t automatically write off events in the bible which offend the modern educated mind as myth. ”

            Neither do I. Many (most? all?) parables could easily have happened in real life; there’s nothing weird or magical or even unusual about the events. So, yes, I think Baalam’s ass spoke (its genre is narrative) but that the snake in Eden didn’t (it’s in verse). Context and genre are also good clues. So: “Was a man named Lazarus brought back to life or was it a parabolic myth?” Clearly it is both a real event in history, and, as John says, “a sign”. Either way, not a myth.

            “Eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood is a real spiritual experience.”

            Amen to that! Bless you brother

          • Oliver, thanks for clearing that up.
            The serpent in Genesis 3 is an intriguing manifestation of Satan: it appears Eve was beguiled in conversation with someone/something with spiritual power viz. –
            2 Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV)
            For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

          • Simon, let’s not de-rail any further. I was simply questioning use of text in a context it was never intended.

            I suppose you may then accuse me of avoiding the question.

            If we met offline we could discuss ‘The Fall’ for hours to our heart’s content. And then I’d start by asking you to define ‘the fall’. To my mind it’s a religious concept, not an actual event, because Adam and Eve… weren’t actual. Nor was ‘the Flood’. I suspect Ian would probably agree with that, I don’t know, but I think so.

            So it’s a myth, that has nothing to do with when humans started eating meat or veg. That was my point. Misappropriation of the text for something it had no intention to determine (with reference to Richard’s post).

          • I was being cheeky Susannah- I think
            I know what you think of it as religious motif not historical event. I do hope we can meet up- lots to talk about

            Grace
            Ps- I believe in the fall as event and theological motif – but you know that 🙂

        • This raises some interesting points. First up, basic hermeneutics. Are the opening chapters of Genesis to be taken literally, as history? I believe someone once asked Karl Barth if he believed in the talking snake (from Genesis). Barth said something like: “it doesn’t matter whether the snake spoke; what matters is is what the snake said.” The opening chapters of Genesis are written in verse. They are poetry. See also Jesus’ parables. The genre matters.

          Now to the details of the story: As Simon said — God covered Adam and Eve’s sin at the expense of an animal. A sacrifice. Death. Blood. There’s a type, a foreshadowing of all subsequent animal sacrifices and of Christ himself.

          • Preach it – read some Barth this afto – good for the guts

            Oliver can we email me as i’d Love to discuss the new TF offering ur testing?

            Returning to the OP- I was in the meat trade for years before becoming a priest- loved it and still do. My ancestors are Somerset farmers and I love that. Two of my best chums have become vegans for health reasons. That’s reasonable. I think I would become a vegan if I thought it would benefit others – given I get a new body in heaven I’m happy to eat everything I like now o the glory of God 😉 but the care for the environment which effects the poor – that is a compelling argument. I care little for the argument that we should
            Not kill animals – I do care about us destroying the environment and harming the poor. Food for thought!

  5. The complexity argument I see used so many times as an excuse for not taking responsibility and making decisions. It’s not that complicated, as Christians we should each take responsibility to make sure that (as far as we reasonably can) that the food we purchase and eat is ethically sourced, and that includes both plant based food and meat. There is a cost to this, food at higher prices, and probably eating less meat and dairy, but isn’t that a price worth paying?

    • I do Agree
      But also there is a very real and very high cost if rolled out to the millions employed in farming, agriculture, processing, butchering, dairy, fishing, leather trades and all the other spin offs from meat concern for the environment must not simply trump concern for those whose livelihood directly Or Indirectly is related to meat or dairy consumption.

    • I think as Christians, we should take responsibility for the hundreds of millions of human beings who don’t get to choose between meat and veg, because they are going to bed hungry each night, and their little children are dying of deficiency-related diseases.

      If our meat-eating and any related climate change makes poor people poorer and more desperate, then we should pray hard about our habits. If not, you eat as your own conscience (and the Holy Spirit) leads you. But let’s keep the focus on the people for whom food is a far bigger issue, and not in any way focus on a ‘rich man’s problem’ of how much to *choose* to eat, from the relative plenty we have.

      We still expend so much on holidays in the sun, on jetting off here and there, on carbon-producing cars, on the great comfort of many of our lives… when the money involved, and the efforts we go to for our own pleasure, could be directed to the countless communities where a mother scrapes the bottom of a bowl to feed pitiful scraps to her children. We live in a world of huge disparity, and our failings are less about whether we eat food or not, and more to do with grand indifference to the terrible deprivation so many people suffer.

      What makes cutting down on meat a moral imperative is if it leads to better lives for these poor and hungry and desperate people. But there are further moral imperatives that are far more compelling and challenging than whether we have one sausage or two for breakfast. Most of us inhabit privilege, and I for one feel indicted of not caring enough in my life, when innocent people are suffering (and children dying) decade by decade.

    • Royston,

      I do not use it as an argument to do nothing. I merely use it as an argument to eat less meat and dairy products, but not rule them out entirely. I would also use it as an argument to urge science and government to examine this topic much more thoroughly (without delaying the action to reduce meat consumption). We also need to consider that intensive grain production with artificial fertilisers is not sustainable because of its very high carbon footprint and the erosion of soil. That too needs urgent action. But get that wrong and millions of people might starve so tread very carefully.

  6. I don’t know how far other aspects are explored in the booklet:
    There is a biblical understanding that animals were created to serve the needs of mankind – fishing, agriculture, domestication: viz “Peter, rise and eat” in Acts 10; and “2 Peter 2:12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed”
    How significant is it that Cain offered a vegetarian sacrifice which was rejected but Abel offered a carnivorous one?
    The author mentions cruelty but this is the only word that can be used regarding kosher slaughter in the OT where to restrain large animals their Achilles’ tendons were first severed before cutting the throat (also not nice to watch as I have).
    Presumably Barth was quite happy to grant hospitality to an infestation of vermin in his house if animals should only be killed to eat.
    I think faddish vegan diets are another manifestation of Western indulgence. If one thinks eating animals is wrong why artificially invent animal dishes and tastes like burgers or sausages. If they were alive in pre-industrial times they would definitely have prioritised feeding their family with whatever they could over any ideology.
    We hardly touch red meat and the majority of our food is vegetarian based. My view is that anyone who eats meat should kill and dress at least one animal as this promotes respect for creatures and reduces the waste of Western gluttony.

    • It does have a paywall, but if you register you can get a few articles a month for free.

      The article does further emphasise the complexity of this whole thing. A few selective quotes:

      “Two thirds of UK farmland is under grass and in most cases cannot be used for other crops. The only responsible way to convert this into food is to feed it to cattle, which are capable of deriving 100 per cent of their nutrition from grass and therefore are more efficient on such land than chickens or pigs. ”

      “Cattle farming does not just help to maintain grassland – it also works to improve the sustainability of existing cropland. ”

      We must recognise that there are those who question some of the statements made in the telegraph article in particular the Food Climate Research Network. Who responded to a fuller report from the author in https://www.fcrn.org.uk/fcrn-blogs/tara-garnett/fcrn-response-sustainable-food-trust-commentary-grazed-and-confused

      However I think both would agree, however that a move to more extensive production of Beef and Lamb and a reduction in consumption would be a good thing.

      • Waitrose trumpet how the farms they use have the best care for the animals. What this means for cattle is that they spend at least 120 days outside in the year (eating grass, presumably). That means that a cow could spend up to 245 days a year inside a cow shed when she is not eating grass in the fields where crops cannot be grown. That is more than half the year. Presumably during that period she is eating food grown in fields which could be used for crops eaten by human beings.

        Remember BSE? That was caused by feeding cows bits of cow.

      • Hello Nick, thanks for the reference.
        I see it is a global report so applying it directly to the UK’s geography and topography would require nuance. I imagine the Sustainability guy is concerned that politicians might just jump on the conclusions without considering the nuance to impress us with their environmental credentials. Certainly eating less meat is a good start to solutions.

Leave a comment