Goldsmiths University in London has announced a ban on beef products in its campus canteens as part of a drive to become carbon neutral by 2025.
According to the Guardian:
Beef products will no longer be available in the institution’s cafes and shops when the academic year begins in September, while an additional 10p levy will be added to the sale of bottled water and disposable plastic cups to discourage their use.
Prof Frances Corner, who took up the post of Goldsmiths’ warden this month, said the college would also switch to a completely clean energy supplier when its current contract ends and look into how all students could take curriculum options related to the climate crisis.
Environmental stories are a bit like cockroaches. If you spot one, it usually means there are hundreds more lurking under the skirting.
And, sure enough, this gesture by Goldsmiths — a nothing university about which no-one cares: it’s just a finishing school for lefty artists and fashionistas — turns out to be one of numerous assaults orchestrated by the leftist hive mind against the citadel of carnivorousness.
This latest anti-meat frenzy was whipped up by the BBC’s High Priest of Environmental Alarmism, Roger Harrabin. Harrabin used the fig leaf of a recent UN report to declare on one of his daily propaganda bulletins that giving up meat was now vital to saving the planet. Experts from the UN had told us so, he claimed, in its latest IPCC report Climate Change and Land.
As always where Harrabin’s environmental reportage is concerned you need to count your fingers afterwards.
The actual report, as Charles Moore noted, is actually quite bland and unprescriptive:
The report’s wording is guarded, preferring to speak about how “diversification in the food system”, including things like “coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds”, might help, rather than telling people to drop meat. Indeed, the title of the report is Climate Change and Land, with no mention of meat. If you google it under its correct name, up it comes, and no headlines about the eco-wickedness of meat appear. If you google it under variants of “IPCC report on meat”, you get headlines such as that above.
This wasn’t nearly zealous enough for Harrabin, who used his sinecure at the BBC to greensplain what the report really meant.
On Thursday morning, at six o’clock on Radio 4, the BBC news led with the IPCC story. Having quickly mentioned that the report was about land use, Harrabin then explained that because the panel is made up of “scientists and government representatives” and has a “need for UN consensus”, it “delivers messages in a lowest common denominator”.
The Reverend Roger, as keeper of the sacred mysteries, then explained what the boffins really meant: “Privately, some of the scientists say over-consumption of meat and dairy products in the West can’t go on.” Thus can some careful, rather colourless words by scientists about issues like “greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems” be turned into something we can all have an argument about. Farmers are disgusting! saith the preacher, Stop eating beef and sheep! We Westerners are much too fat!
Once an environmental scare – give up meat or the planet gets it! – has been given a veneer of respectability by the BBC, useful idiots like Goldsmiths University’s new warden can then jump on the bandwagon, virtue-signal about how green they are, get their faces in the newspapers (which love this kind of stupid story) and, best of all, vent their authoritarian urges.
“Professor” Frances Corner — the attention-seeker behind this new beef ban at Goldsmiths — describes herself as a “fashion activist.” Glancing at her CV I can’t say I notice much evidence of intellectual heft. She looks more like a professional academic administrator who has jumped from post to post by having the right politics.
Also, as Paul Homewood has impolitely noticed, she appears to be something of a massive hypocrite.
Ms Corner may think beefburgers are bad for the planet, but she evidently thinks flying is OK.
Last November she popped over to Beijing for a fashion exhibition:
Other trips in recent years include Seoul and Milan.
“Do as I say, not do as I do”, eh? The watchword of every charlatan teacher that ever lived. The watchword of pretty much every green activist too, for that matter.
These people are dangerous and we need to fight them every step of the way — not least in calling out their outrageous lies.
As Matt Ridley points out in a piece headlined The War on Meat has begun and there are many reasons to join the resistance, it simply isn’t true that giving up meat will do much to save the planet.
There are other environmental arguments against meat eating than the fact that it generates a little more carbon dioxide per calorie of food than a vegetarian diet. In energy terms, cows are about 10 per cent efficient at turning plants into meat; chickens and pigs more like 30 per cent. So if we ate the plants directly, we would produce fewer emissions and farm less land, leaving more for nature.
But much of the plant material we grow on arable land cannot be eaten by human beings – straw, for example. Plus cows, pigs and chickens turn the indigestible stuff into manure without which soil conservation would be harder and organic farming all but impossible. Professor Imke de Boer of Wageningen University argues that the most carbon-efficient agriculture must include some animals.
Also, much of this planet cannot be used for growing crops, but can produce fodder for sheep, cattle, goats, camels and chickens. The hills of Scotland, Wales and the Lake District, for example, are not suitable for wheat, nor is much of the Middle East and Central Asia. Without these animals, we would not only ruin many farming communities, but have to plough and plant a lot more land elsewhere to grow the protein and fats that we otherwise get from animals – and that would mean destroying more forests and wetlands, because unlike sheep and cows, those crops need well-watered, fertile soil. Bad idea!
As I know from the three months I spent last year as a vegan (not my choice: doctor’s orders), meat-free diets are a sick perversion which leave you pasty-faced, malnourished and perpetually wondering where your next bit of protein is going to come from. Also, it means you end up being drawn to the hateful company of pallid snowflakes with whom you can bore on about whichever new recipe you’ve discovered that tastes closest to meat — because that, of course, is all you really want: bacon sandwiches, a juicy steak, lasagne made with actual beef mince and actual cheese not the substitute faux-meat and faux-cheese crap that vegan types pretend is just as good.
Here’s another irony before I finish my rant. If you had to draw a Venn diagram with a circle for meat-shunning greenies and a circle for bitter Remoaners with #FBPE after their names on Twitter, what you’d end up with, pretty much, is one circle superimposed directly over the other because there’s really not a shred of difference between the two groups.
Which is ironic given that one of the Remoaners’ main bugbears about Britain’s impending No Deal departure from the EU is the damage it will do to Britain’s beef farmers and sheep farmers.
Yeah right. These people don’t give two ha’pennies for Britain’s farmers, except as a convenient propaganda tool for their anti-Brexit arguments.
But that’s what a meat-free diet does to you: warps your brain; makes you more evil. Don’t do it, kids!