Some of you may or may not have heard of Reganuary. It is an idea that has captured the imaginations of chefs, farmers and your average foodie across the UK.
Reganuary was a response from Glen Burrows to the Veganuary movement. He was incredibly frustrated with the way in which it seemed as though they were pushing an incredibly oversimplified narrative; that certain foods are always lower impact than others.
Veganuary was pushing that no meat or any produce should be consumed in the month of January. On their website, they state ‘We want….a world. A world where food production does not decimate forests, pollute rivers and oceans, exacerbate climate change and drive wild animal populations to extinction.’
Veganuary sounds as though it is a harmless movement that everyone should get behind – Who doesn’t want to save the planet! However, as Glen Burrows from The Ethical Butcher shows there is much more to this important topic than cutting out meat completely.
One of his arguments compared avocados to grass-fed beef. Both of which are unprocessed products that provide our bodies with fats that we need to survive. The vast majority of avocados are farmed in tropical and subtropical climates, predominantly Mexico. The carbon footprint and the number of animal deaths a Mexican avocado causes is shocking. It creates a higher impact on the planet than a cut of British grass-fed beef when it’s eaten in London. That’s before we get into the cartel control of the avocado trade and the social issues.
However, this was just a single example that looks at one of the best cases for animal agriculture and avocados, one of the worst in its industry.
Glen wasn’t trying to argue that avocados were awful and were destroying the planet. His point was instead to encourage people to think more about what they eat and where it comes from.
Mindlessly choosing vegan options has a much more negative impact on the planet than carefully thinking about your options. A person choosing to remove British grass-fed meats from their diet and sourcing the fat they need to survive from avocados shows that vegan choices are not always the best. For more information about his cow vs avocado argument, click here.
The worst impact we can have on the planet is destroying a fully functioning ecosystem to use the land for agriculture. The first thing that comes to mind for this should be harvesting wood from rainforests and subsequently using the land for a mono-crop or for grazing. This destruction of the land has a negative effect on the environment. That’s without mentioning all the resources used to get the desired output.
Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways, meeting society’s present food needs without compromising the ability of current or future generations to meet their needs. However, sustainability does not undo the damage of the past.
If a forest was destroyed to make way for agriculture then the initial damage will be incredibly high and will not be undone. However, if farmers replant trees elsewhere then they will be repairing some of that initial damage and even having a positive effect on the environment.
Both Veganuary and Reganuary have the same goals. Just the way in which they believe their goals should be achieved is different.
Questions like ‘what options can we choose from regenerative agriculture?’ Or ‘could we get this cut of meat from a local butcher instead of a supermarket?’ are much better conversations to have than ‘plant vs meat’.
Just being more conscientious about what you eat and where it comes from is the best option for the planet.
Being a local butcher we like to source as ethically as possible. With our farm-to-fork traceability scheme, products can be traced back to the farm where they were bred – and in some cases, even down to the food they ate.
All our nominated suppliers are audited against our stringent standards, which gives you as the customer peace of mind that throughout their life, products have been bred, processed, stored and delivered in the best possible way.
This is important for us because how we choose to do business has a direct impact on the environment.