‘Are Farmers Just Scared Of Vegan Rise?’ TV Host Asks As Tesco Ad Controversy Continues

'People mustn't be scared into a diet. They must choose a diet because it's appropriate for themselves'
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Dairy Farmer Abi Reader says the Tesco advert 'demonized' her work (Photo: ITV)

Dairy Farmer Abi Reader says the Tesco advert 'demonized' her work (Photo: ITV)

Tesco's new advert for vegan sausages has been discussed on another talk show - with the host asking whether farmers are just scared because veganism is growing.

The retail giant launched its ad called Carl's 'All-Change' Casserole, on the radio, TV, and on posters last week. It features a father called Carl, who reformulates his sausage casserole recipe after his young daughter comes home from school one day and says: "I don't want to eat animals anymore."

Controversy

After the ad was released, the National Farmers Union published a statement, saying it 'demonizes meat' which 'has negative connotations for farmers'

It added: "The NFU is clear that food and nutrition must be looked at as a whole, rather than food groups in isolation. Meat as a food group provides naturally rich in protein and are a good source of iron, zinc and essential vitamins.

"There are certain parts of the population, especially teenage girls, who are currently not eating sufficient quantities of these micro-nutrients to fulfil their dietary requirement. We believe it is vital that children do not establish misleading views of food groups, which may later affect their health and diets."

This Morning

The advert has been discussed by various media outlets - including on daytime television show Loose Women - during which Janet Street-Porter labeled the child in the advert a 'militant vegan'.

The latest debate took place on UK breakfast show This Morning, with vegan advocate and restauranteur Lucy Watson and dairy farmer Abi Reader discussing the ad.

Reader said the advert 'demonized my industry and my work', but when pressed on how it did this, refused to 'do an autopsy' on it.

Are farmers scared?

The debate led host Philip Schofield to ask Reader whether 'farmers are scared that this is the change to a way of life?'.

"No, not at all," she said. "I produce meat, milk, and crops on this farm, so I'm fully aware that some people would like to eat crops, eat fruit and eat veg.

"I think the key thing is, people mustn't be scared into a diet. They must choose a diet because it's appropriate for themselves. Now that's for health and nutrition of course, and if you're someone like Lucy also for ethics which would come hopefully further down the line."

'A beautiful advert'

Speaking to Plant Based News about appearing on the segment, Watson said: "I thought the beginning was relatively fair, but I do also think this farmer got to make a lot of false statements that I wasn't given an opportunity to respond to.

"I think the ad is beautiful, and is a depiction of a kind, caring, and compassionate household which I think others should aspire to have."

'It's the best part'

Speaking to PBN, Tesco's Head of Plant-Based Innovation, Derek Sarno, defended the advert stating: "The whole team wanted a food love story focusing on plant-based [food] and the new launch of Plant Chef and Wicked.

"We just recipe approved and encouraged them to be brave and keep the part when the girl says she doesn't want to eat animals. It's the best part.

"The sooner these guys realize we don't 'need' or 'have to' have animal products in our food system the faster we'll be able to save our planet!"