This politician wants to treat meat eaters like smokers

A politician has said she wants a campaign to deter people from eating meat, in the same way that smokers are targeted.

British Labour Party shadow minister Kerry McCarthy has become the subject of massive controversy after making the comments to Viva! Life magazine.


The MP for Bristol East, who has been a vegan herself for 20 years, is also the shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

She compared meat with tobacco, saying it should be treated similarly, “with public campaigns to stop people eating it.”

Describing herself as “militant”, she said: “The constant challenging of the environmental impact of livestock farming is making me more and more militant.”

“Progress on animal welfare is being made at EU level… but in the end it comes down to not eating meat or dairy.”

Tim Bonner, chief executive of The Countryside Alliance, was not happy with the comments, saying: “Kerry McCarthy’s views on meat eating and livestock farming are completely out of step with the vast majority of people. Her ideas are verging on the cranky. This appointment is only going to make it more difficult for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party to reconnect with rural Britain.”

Speaking later on the BBC Radio 4 programme, Farming Today, McCarthy said: “The world is not going to turn vegan because I am in post. I have my own personal views about what I choose to eat, but I accept that we have a livestock industry in this country.”

“What I want is for the industry to have the best welfare standards possible, to be sustainable as well as economically viable.”

Newly elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has come out against the comments, telling ITV: “I am a vegetarian. I personally don’t eat meat and haven’t for a very long time.

“I think meat eaters, if they wish to carry on eating meat, that’s up to them to do so.”


“I tolerate it with the normal decency, courtesy and respect that you would expect from me.”