Wildlife expert Chris Packham believes people wouldn't eat meat if they knew how animals were treated, Plant Based News can reveal.
He made the comments while talking with Veganuary - a charity that supports people as they try and vegan diet throughout January. A staggering 300,000 people are expected to sign up for the initiative this year.
Packham will also be doing Veganuary this year and has joined the organization as an ambassador, joining actors Evanna Lynch and Peter Egan, TV presenters Sarah-Jane Crawford and Jasmine Harman, comedians Sara Pascoe and Carl Donnelly and chef Derek Sarno.
Vegan diet and the environment
"I've been interested in what I eat and the impact of my diet on the environment for a long time," Packham said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"I was tempted into giving up meat by Michaela Strachan many, many years ago. I'd virtually given up. Occasionally I'd eat some chicken and I was already thinking to myself, Why are you doing that? And as soon as I met her she said, 'you must stop' and I did instantaneously.
"That must be about 35-40 years ago, I suppose, so it's a long time. But as I've become more and more aware of our impact, the impact our diet has on the environment – and of course the species that live in it – I've become increasingly concerned to minimize the negative aspects of that impact."
Packman added that he's been 'genuinely been excited' about taking part in Veganuary this year.
"I think that's because I’ve reached a point in my life where I want to be able to maximize and optimize my ability to minimize my negative impact on the world, and this will just keep me focused," he said.
"I like targets. I like defined boundaries. So, a month, you know, start here, finish here, make an assessment, how well you did, score yourself, points out of 10, maybe a percentage, and then think about what happens after that."
Packham also spoke about why people eat animals. "I think the problem is - the reason why people continue to eat meat - is because they don’t know where it’s come from," he said.
"If people actually saw where that meat had come from, if they'd seen the animals and the way they were being kept and handled, they wouldn’t eat the meat.
"I've often said, you know, if we put photographs of the animals and the conditions they’ve been kept in, on the labels of that food in supermarkets, when people picked it up and saw that, they’d put it straight back down again."
Packham also believes that people will stop eating animals in the future. "In the longer term, I don’t think we are going to be eating meat," he said. "That's the bottom line. Not given our population growth.
"The economics of ecology tell us that we can't grow lots of soya bean to feed it to beef and use all the water that it takes to produce a kilogram of meat and consume it.
"There's to many of us to continue that practice. We're going to be finding other sources of protein, whatever they are."
You cansign up for Veganuary here