RSPCA Assured – the RSPCA’s ethical food label – is calling for animal loving Brits to eat less low welfare meat and only choose higher welfare labels, in a new push to make the UK the ‘gold standard’ for farm animal welfare. The announcement comes as RSPCA Assured publishes a new report on the growing trend for eating less animal products, known as reducetarianism*.
It revealed that whilst more than a third of people (38%) are reducing the amount of meat, fish, eggs and dairy they eat, the vast majority (80%) would not consider giving it up altogether.
The report showed the main reason for people cutting down on meat and dairy, after their own health reasons, is concern about farm animal welfare.
With the current spotlight on how the British farming industry can become world leaders and more self-sufficient post-Brexit, RSPCA Assured believes the trend for ‘eating less’ provides a timely opportunity for higher welfare farmers to seize the moment.
Liam Kurzeja, from RSPCA Assured, explains: “Michael Gove says he wants a ‘gold standard’ for British farming that could be beneficial in both ethical and business terms post Brexit.
“And with more than a third of people reducing the amount of animal products they eat – citing animal welfare concerns as being one of the main reasons why – higher welfare farmers have a better opportunity to differentiate their products and add value than ever before.”
RSPCA Assured believes that boldly engaging with reducetarianism has the potential to help deliver more benefits to its existing and future farming members, as well as help improve the welfare of even more farm animals.
Therefore the charity has today launched its eat less, eat better campaign to encourage people to eat less meat, fish, eggs and dairy from low welfare farms and only choose higher welfare labels.
Mr Kurzeja said: “We’re not telling people to stop eating meat, but the fact is most Brits say they are concerned about the welfare of farm animals. Price, however, is often the biggest barrier stopping them choosing higher welfare food.
“So our solution is simple; just eat less low welfare food and better higher welfare products, such as those with the RSPCA Assured label. Not only will you be helping improve farm animal welfare, and supporting those farmers who farm to higher standards, but encouraging more farmers to do the same.”
Earlier this year young farmers at Wales YFC’s annual Rural Affairs Conference were urged to capitalise upon, and not fear, the rise of vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism.** And a report by the Eating Better alliance last month revealed high consuming meat and dairy countries such as the UK, need to reduce their intake by at least 50 per cent by 2030 to achieve commitments made by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to keep global temperature rise within safe limits.
To find out more about the eat less, eat better campaign visit: rspcaassured.org.uk/eatbetter.
*Whilst vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and pescetarians are the segments most talked about in the media these segments combined represent less than ten per cent of the British population. However conscious and unconscious reducetarians – a term rarely used currently – represent a combined 38.5% of the population (a reducetarian is ‘someone who is mindfully and gradually reducing their consumption of animal products’)