The war on meat seems to have spread to Spain:
This week Spain’s consumer affairs minister, Alberto Garzón, launched a campaign inviting people to consider reducing their meat consumption for the good of their health and the planet.
In a video he noted that Spain eats more meat than any other EU country, slaughtering 70 million pigs, cows, sheep, goats, horses and birds each year to produce 7.6m tonnes of meat…
Campaigns like this almost always begin with “an invitation to consider,” but that’s not where they end.
Although as invitations go, it wasn’t the most enticing:
“This doesn’t mean that we can’t have a family barbecue from time to time, just that we do it with a bit more restraint and that we make up for the days we eat meat by having days where we eat more salad, rice, pulses and vegetables,” [ Garzón] said.
Salad, rice, pulses, and vegetables.
Be still my heart.
(Snark should not be taken as an endorsement of salad, rice, or vegetables)
Luis Planas, the minister for agriculture, fishing and food, told Cadena Ser radio that the farming sector was being subjected to “profoundly unfair criticisms when it deserved respect for the honest work it does for both our food and our economy”. He said meat consumption had been decreasing over the past 10 years until the start of the Covid pandemic.
A lost decade, then.
Six meat-producing associations wrote an open letter to Garzón saying they were stunned to see him and his ministry waging a campaign that “defamed” a sector that accounts for 2.5 million jobs and exports worth almost €9bn.
Asked for his thoughts on the campaign, Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, appeared to side with his agriculture minister, saying: “Speaking personally, a medium-rare steak is hard to beat.”
Others, meanwhile, struggled to see exactly what all the fuss was about. “Eating less meat is better for your health and better for the environment,” tweeted the Spanish food journalist Mikel López Iturriaga. “You can stuff your face with all the steak you want, but don’t get huffy because a minister tells you exactly the same thing as the World Health Organization, other institutions and countless other scientific experts in the field.”
Iturriaga wins the prize by capping a reference to the #science with one to WHO. WHO!
Oh yes, there’s this from the BBC:
Mr Planas belongs to Mr Sánchez ‘s Socialist Party, which has strong support in some rural areas and among traditional working-class voters. Mr Garzón is from the left-wing Unidas Podemos, which depends on younger and urban progressive voters.
I’ll just leave this story there, but, don’t be under any illusion. Sooner or later, the climate warriors will be “inviting” you to eat less meat, probably by means of increasingly penal taxes.
Jamón Serrano at some point this weekend, I think.