As Veganuary Ends Februdairy Kicks In

As January comes to a close NFU Scotland’s Livestock Policy Manager Hannah Baker reflects on Veganuary 2022, and explains why instead, eating locally sourced and in season Scottish produce is the answer to almost every question posed around diet, whether that be health, climate, welfare, or sustainability.

She writes: “I have no issue with people making an informed personal choice on how to live their own lives; be that religion, exercise, or diet. What I don’t like is the pedalling of misinformation – and I suspect that is the same for most of us. Working in this industry we know the facts about welfare and animal care. We also know what our farming practices do (and perhaps sometimes don’t do) for the environment. I don’t think anyone reading this would claim our industry is perfect and that there is not room for improvement. But I also don’t think anyone reading this would be happy with the assertion that the country eating “plant-based” would solve our climate change problems.”

“Veganuary itself occurs in January – one of the worst months for the UK weather wise. We do not have a lot of seasonal produce at this time of year, and therefore the timing of Veganuary encourages participants to not eat local or even British produce. This is one of the things that confuses me about the campaign, the almost blatant disregard for a healthy diet. The products that thrive in Scotland under the mantle of Veganuary are almost all junk food – this year’s new offerings included the McPlant Burger (McDonalds), the Tu’NAH Sandwich (Starbucks), and the PepperoNAY Pizza (Dominos) to name a few. The interesting point to note is that almost all these products are a synthetic attempt to mimic real meat, rather than championing some seasonal vegetable or plant centerpiece. The production of the synthetic ingredients is hardly an environmental triumph, and the health benefits are similarly dubious. To me this highlights that as a nation we have lost touch with our food heritage and until we can turn that tide then sadly our industry, our health, and our planet are all very much under threat.”


Read the full blog on the NFU Scotland website at: https://www.nfus.org.uk/news/blog/hannah-baker-reflects-on-veganuary-2022


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