With the misinformation being batted about during the annual Veganuary campaign, NFU Cymru has written to regional newspapers across Wales to push home the message that everyone has a right to choose what they eat, without being victimised. Furthermore, scientific and medical communities are in agreement that meat, eggs and dairy products play an integral role in a healthy, balanced diet.
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Read our letter below:
The New Year brings with it the annual Veganuary campaign encouraging consumers to take up a vegan lifestyle. Increasingly, we are seeing this topic given a disproportionate amount of coverage from national media when you consider that vegans only account for around 1% of the UK population. As a local farmer I am grateful for the opportunity to address some of the misinformation that is reported about the UK farming industry during Veganuary.
Firstly, it’s important to recognise that everyone has the right to choose what they eat, without being victimised. As farmers all we ask is that people can make those decisions based on facts rather than false information. Scientific and medical communities are in agreement that meat, eggs and dairy products play an integral role in a healthy, balanced diet, providing key nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are essential to bone, heart and blood health that are difficult to obtain efficiently through other sources.
During Veganuary the public are bombarded with messages asserting that a meat and dairy-free diet is better for the environment and that such a change will provide the answer to climate change. This is simply not the case. Welsh farmers produce some of the most climate friendly meat in the world using the two ingredients we have an abundance of here in Wales – grass and rainfall. In contrast, some highly processed meat alternatives are responsible for deforestation in other parts or the world. Dairy-free alternatives like almond ‘milk’, meanwhile, require thousands of litres of water and extensive irrigation systems.
Our advice to consumers is to read the label and buy local wherever possible. This ensures low food miles and gives you the assurance that what you are purchasing has been produced to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.
Aled Jones , NFU Cymru Deputy President
Complaining to the media:
This guide sets out how people can register official complaints with broadcasters and newspapers on items or articles which they believe are misleading, factually incorrect or are examples of unbalanced reporting. Download it now.