THE New Year brings with it the annual Veganuary campaign encouraging consumers to take up a vegan lifestyle.

Increasingly, we are seeing this topic given a disproportionate amount of coverage from national media when you consider that vegans only account for around one per cent of the UK population.

As a local farmer I am grateful for the opportunity to address some of the misinformation that is reported about the UK farming industry during Veganuary.

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that everyone has the right to choose what they eat, without being victimised.

As farmers all we ask is that people can make those decisions based on facts rather than false information.

Scientific and medical communities are in agreement that meat and dairy products play an integral role in a healthy, balanced diet, providing key nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are essential to bone, heart and blood health that are difficult to obtain efficiently through other sources.

During Veganuary the public are bombarded with messages asserting that a meat and dairy-free diet is better for the environment and that such a change will provide the answer to climate change.

This is simply not the case.

Welsh farmers produce some of the most climate friendly meat in the world using the two ingredients we have an abundance of here in Wales – grass and rainfall.

In contrast, some highly processed meat alternatives are responsible for deforestation in other parts or the world.

Dairy-free alternatives like almond ‘milk’, meanwhile, require thousands of litres of water and extensive irrigation systems.

Our advice to consumers is to read the label and buy local wherever possible.

This ensures low food miles and gives you the assurance that what you are purchasing has been produced to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.


NFU Cymru Pembrokeshire County Chair