This is my complaint to the BBC about ‘Meat: a threat to our planet?’
Whilst I agree that the US Feedlots shown are an awful way to treat cattle and we should not be catching fish to feed to animals, this programme completely failed to show how sustainable farming is done in the UK. If it had pointed out the difference between the worst practise and the best of animal farming it would have been very useful. It did not. It implied that all animal farming is bad and damaging. This is a lie by omission. The programme completely over-used emotion in trying to change people’s perspectives. Many of the statistics given were grossly exaggerated.
The truth, which was completely ignored, is that correctly managed, grass-fed ruminant animals increase soil fertility and biodiversity; they sequester carbon into the soil and can be carbon negative. They provide the most complete and nutrient dense food our species can eat. Methane emitted by cattle is part of a carbon cycle and does not cause global warming. How can it do so when ruminants have been burping methane for 50 million years? Independent UK farmers care for their animals and the land: this programme implied they are pariahs.
The clear instruction that we should all stop eating meat involved absolutely no mention of nutrition. Research from all over the world has shown that children on vegan diets suffer from stunting, failure to thrive, a wide variety of mineral deficiencies and serious, sometimes irreversible, neurological defects. This programme openly encouraged parents to risk severe developmental problems in their children without any word of warning about the removal of meat from their diets.
As a licence fee payer, I insist that you balance this anti-meat propaganda with a programme showing how UK livestock farmers provide nutritious food in a fully sustainable way, whilst improving the soil and sequestering carbon.