Environment Secretary Michael Gove has claimed that meat is crucial to a balanced diet, while talking to farmers about his “health and harmony” vision for food.
He also said that while he respects the rights of people who are vegan or vegetarian, he believes that meat still remains part of a balanced diet.
When The Guardian asked Gove if the government might consider suggesting that people reduce their meat consumption, he replied; “For health reasons there’s an appropriate level of meat in anyone’s diet which doctors and nutritionists would advise us to consume.”
He went on to say: “A balanced diet, rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, pulses and cereals, fresh dairy produce and protein sources such as fresh fish, offal and properly sourced meat is critical to human health and flourishing.”
Processed meat is recognised by the WHO as being a class one cancer-causing carcinogen, and 25% of the UK population is currently classed as obese.
NHS guidelines clearly state that you can safely and effectively follow a vegan diet, and still receive all of the necessary nutrition needed for optimal bodily function.
As Dr. Shireen Kassam stated in Plant Based News:
“The ‘Western’ diet, high in animal and processed foods, is the leading cause of illness and death contributing to high rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and hypertension.”
“We know from many scientific studies that the longest lived, healthiest populations are those eating a predominantly plant-based diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.”
While Michael Gove has made positive changes to the environment through actions such as his work involving the countries use of plastic, it is disappointing to see that his archaic attitude towards meat has not evolved.