IFA Munster chair hits back at Go Vegan ads

IFA Munster chair hits back at Go Vegan ads

Harold Kingston on his farm at Courtmacsherry with a one day old Aberdeen-Angus calf. Picture Dan Linehan

ANYONE who has concerns about animal welfare should contact the authorities instead of using social media and high-profile advertising campaigns, according to the Munster chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association, Harold Kingston.

The West Cork farmer was responding to a Christmas campaign run on buses and on billboards by Go Vegan World.

The group placed 100 adverts on buses and a further 100 on billboards across the country, highlighting concerns it has about the meat and dairy industry.

In one of the adverts, a picture of a lamb is accompanied by the words: “A terrified child dying for your dinner.”

Another advert showing a calf and cow reads: “Dairy takes babies from their mothers.”

Mr Kingston said such campaigns do not worry farmers because 97% of people buy dairy products in Ireland and that farmers look after their livestock well. But he said anyone with concerns about animal welfare should bring their concerns to the authorities.

In a statement to the Echo, a spokesman for Go Vegan World said: “Make no mistake, Go Vegan World is not an animal welfare campaign and it does not ask for better conditions in which to exploit and kill other animals. It asks for an immediate and complete end to all animal use.”

The spokesman also said: “In light of the link between animal agriculture and environmental destruction, loss of biodiversity and climate change, and the zoonotic origins of pandemics, using other animals as resources is almost as harmful to humans as it is to other animals.”

Fine Gael’s agriculture Seanad spokesman, Tim Lombard, described the advertising campaign as irresponsible, especially as the world is going through a major crisis with the coronavirus pandemic.

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