A scientist speaking at the National Farmers Union conference has argued that living a vegan lifestyle is more damaging to the environment than eating meat.
The Rothamsted Institute’s Graham McAuliffe said that the manner in which tofu — a protein foodstuff made from soy ‘milk’ — is produced has a worse carbon footprint than chicken, pork, or lamb produced for eating, according to an unpublished report.
Dr McAuliffe, who models the environmental impact of foods, said that current accepted research which claims that eating meat is worse for the environment fails to take into account that the human body does not absorb as much protein from plants as it does from meat, meaning that on a vegan diet, a person would have to eat more in order to obtain a healthy amount of protein, according to a report in The Times.
Speaking at the conference in London, the scientist said: “Without a doubt peas and ground nuts always have a lower environmental impact than any livestock products.
“But if you look at tofu, which is processed so there is more energy going into its production, when you correct for the fact that the protein in it is not as digestible compared to the meat-based products, you can see that it could actually have a higher global warming potential than any of the monogastric animals.
“To get the same amount of protein, tofu is worse.”
Swedish Vegan Parents Who Nearly Starved Toddler Avoid Prison https://t.co/DRGmDV1JO2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 30, 2019
The remarks are likely to anger the vegan and environmentalist lobbies, which have been pushing to not only encourage people to stop eating meat but want to punish meat-eating, too, through increased taxation.
Lobbyists have argued for preserving veganism as a legally-protected characteristic, like religion, sex, race, or sexuality. Last month, a judge at an employment tribunal said “ethical veganism” is a philosophical belief and as such, should be protected by law from discrimination in the workplace.
While activists have said that vegans should be ‘protected’ from discrimination, vocal anti-meat activists engaged in Cancel Culture on the former editor of Waitrose’s food magazine for making a joke about veganism in 2018. William Sitwell was forced to resign from his job, but not before receiving threats of harm against him and his family.
The anti-meat movement was also criticised at the farmers’ event earlier this week, with the president of the NFU Minette Batters saying: “The vegan issue has been enormously detrimental to farmers’ mental health.”
The anti-meat lobby could also be potentially detrimental to meat producers’ physical health, as well. Breitbart London reported in 2018 that there has been a rise in threats of violence against butchers and abattoir workers. In the same year, it was revealed that British meat producers had engaged the support of counter-terrorism police in the wake of the increased threats.
France: Butchers Plead for Protection as Vegan Militants Ramp Up Campaign of ‘Terror’ https://t.co/butu8nOymx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 27, 2018