Ministry ‘too chicken’ to mention meat in climate awareness campaign
September 10, 2021
The economic affairs ministry scrapped a call to eat less meat from a climate awareness campaign following consultation with the agriculture ministry, animal protection organisation Wakker Dier said on Friday.
The organisation based its allegation on documents requested under the Dutch freedom of information act.
The 2019 campaign ‘Iedereen doet wat’ (everybody does something) contained advice on what people themselves could do to combat climate change, such as insulate their homes, installing a heat pump and not using the car for short trips.
It also advised on food and food waste but meat consumption, an important source of climate change, was conspicuous through its absence, Wakker Dier said.
‘We thought that was very strange particularly when the documents showed that it was initially part of the campaign. There was even a recommendation to restrict meat consumption to twice a week’, Wakker Dier spokeswoman Anne Hilhorst told the Volkskrant.
But by April 2019, meat consumption was no longer part of the campaign. ‘We do not want to communicate ‘less meat’ explicitly,’ the economic affairs ministry wrote in an internal memo because it is ‘a politically very sensitive issue’.
‘We think a government that is afraid to speak out about the harmful effects eating too much meat is worrying. That implies there was lobbying from somewhere,’ Hilhorst told the paper.