Eating meat ‘could be made illegal like smoking in pubs’

pCloud Premium

Eating meat could become illegal in the future due to the damage caused to the environment, says a leading barrister calling for a new “ecocide” law.

Michael Mansfield QC says new legislation is needed to criminalise the “wilful destruction of nature”, which he described as a “crime against humanity”.

In a speech to be delivered at Labour’s party conference in Brighton on Monday, Mr Mansfield will say: “I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal.

Barrister Michael Mansfield, representing some victims of the June 14 Grenfell Tower fire disaster, leaves after attending the opening statements of the Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, in London on September 14, 2017. An inquiry into the June 14, 2017 Grenfell Tower fire disaster opened on Thursday with a minute's silence to remember victims, as survivors demanded answers over the west London apartment block blaze that killed at least 80 people. / AFP PHOTO / CHRIS J RATCLIFFE (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Michael Mansfield says ‘it is time’ for a new ecocide law

“There are plenty of things that were once commonplace that are now illegal such as smoking inside.”

Mr Mansfield, who has previously represented victims of the Hillsborough disaster and the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, is expected to make the remarks in a debate on the effects of livestock farming on the environment.

He will say: “We know that the top 3,000 companies in the world are responsible for more than £1.5tn worth of damage to the environment with meat and dairy production high on the list.

“We know that because the UN has told us so. It is time for a new law on ecocide to go alongside genocide and the other crimes against humanity.”

More from UK

According to vegan charity Viva, which is hosting the debate, the world’s top three meat firms emit more greenhouse gases each year than all of France.

Some 25% of all global greenhouse emissions come from agriculture, with livestock production contributing about 80% of that, Viva said.

Slaley, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: A herd of Shorthorn and Ayshires gather in a field on June 14, 2019 in Slaley, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Image: Michael Mansfield has voiced concerns about the impact of livestock farming on the environment

The organisation’s director, Juliet Gellatley, said: “Thirty years ago people didn’t bat an eyelid if you lit a cigarette in a pub or restaurant. But now society accepts smoking is harmful and totally unnecessary and so we legislated against it.

“The same could happen with eating meat.”

Charities warned earlier this month that UK farming needs billions of pounds from central government if commitments to tackle climate change and protect the natural environment are to be met.

:: A New Climate is a special series of podcasts from Sky News Daily. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

When the UK leaves the European Union, the current EU-wide subsidy regime, which mainly pays farmers for the amount of land they have, will have to be replaced.

The RSPB, National Trust and the Wildlife Trusts say the £3.2bn spent on farm support and environmental payments in the UK under the EU system must be re-invested in helping farmers produce food in a way that helps nature.

Viva’s Vegan Now campaign event takes place at the Lighthouse Brighton on Monday afternoon.

Eating meat could be made illegal like smoking in pubs, says top barrister

Eating meat could become illegal in the future due to the damage caused to the environment, says a leading barrister calling for a new “ecocide” law. Michael Mansfield QC says new legislation is needed to criminalise the “wilful destruction of nature”, which he described as a “crime against humanity”.

pCloud Premium

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.