A SMALL city in The Netherlands is set to become the first in the world to ban meat advertisements, with new rules to come into effect in 2024.
Haarlem, which is west of Amsterdam towards the coast and has a population of 160,000, will reportedly ban advertisements for meat from appearing on buses, shelters and screens in public places. Media reports say the advertising ban will also include fossil fuels, holiday flights and cars that run on fossil fuels.
The decision in Haarlem was made while Dutch farmers were protesting a series of herd reducing measures by lighting silage bags on fire and blocking supermarkets.
The legislation was put forward by Ziggy Zlaze, councillor from the GroenLinks party – a merger of four left wing parties in The Netherlands.
She told a local radio station meat was banned because of its impact on the environment.
“We are not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen; if people wanted to continue eating meat, fine … We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause.
“Of course, there are a lot of people who find the decision outrageous and patronising, but there are also a lot of people who think it’s fine.
“It is a signal – if it is picked up nationally, that would only be very nice. There are many groups of GroenLinks who think it is a good idea and want to try it.”
The ban has been heavily opposed by documentary maker and regenerative agriculture advocate Diana Rodgers, who was behind the Sacred Cow movie.
“Because of poor research and misconceptions that blame meat for being a major contributor to climate change without understanding any of the nuances of that statement,” she said.
“This policy is so shortsighted and misconceived, but stay tuned, I have something in the works to combat the misinformation that led to such a policy. Besides, who is going to tell them that the foods that will replace meat in this city will only harm their health and likely the environment far more than meat ever could.”