Celebrities who champion anti-meat eating causes have come under fire from the chairman of Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).
On the opening day of the Royal Welsh Show, Rees Roberts urged the livestock sector to hit back against celebrities and organisations that portray meat eaters as people who do not care about the planet.
“We must not let extremists hijack the climate change agenda,” Mr Roberts said.
He cited examples that included Paul McCartney’s Meat-Free Monday.
The more extremist elements go further, even accusing livestock farmers and meat eaters of killing the planet and heaping all the woes of climate change on to our shoulders.
“This is utter nonsense. We need to introduce some balance into this debate because climate change concerns everyone. HCC is no different to any other responsible organisation addressing the issue directly.”
It was working on a climate change roadmap, looking at the impact of the beef and sheep supply chain and investigating how to mitigate that impact, without having an adverse effect on businesses.
“This is a responsible approach. Our job is to feed the world, not destroy it.”
It was naïve of some organisations to suggest crops could be substituted for livestock in Wales where 85% of land was classified as less favoured – something that was true of many other countries around the world.
Scientific advice highlighted the importance of red meat in a balanced diet, a fact ignored by the popular media, who seemed to prefer to get their nutritional advice from celebrities.
Those who worked in the meat industry must counter outrageous claims about climate change being made by pressure groups.
“We need to make sure that the truth continues to be heard loud and clear by the public.”