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Barrister Claims Eating Meat Could Be Banned, Just Like Smoking Inside

Barrister Claims Eating Meat Could Be Banned, Just Like Smoking Inside

It's a bold claim, but it isn't beyond the realms of possibility

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

One of Britain's leading barristers has made the bizarre claim that eating meat could one day be banned in the same way that it is now illegal to smoke in pubs.

Michael Mansfield QC reckons that we need to bring in new 'ecocide' laws that make the 'wilful destruction of nature' illegal.

He also described that 'destruction' as a 'crime against humanity'.

In a speech to Labour's party conference in Brighton today, Mr Mansfield said: "I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal.

"There are plenty of things that were once commonplace that are now illegal such as smoking inside."

Michael Mansfield.

Throughout Mansfield career he has taken on high profile cases such as that of the Hillsborough disaster victims and the family of murdered Stephen Lawrence.

His comments are part of a debate on the effect of dairy and meat agriculture on the environment.

Whether or not you eat meat, there is actually some validity to Mansfield's claims. According to data from vegan charity Viva, which is hosting the event that he is speaking at, the world's largest three meat firms produce more greenhouse gases than the entirety of France.

The charity also claims that 25 percent of the total global greenhouse gases produced are from the agriculture industry. Of that 25 per cent, 80 per cent is from livestock farming.

Could burgers one day be banned?

Juliet Gellatley, Viva's director, told Sky News: "Thirty years ago people didn't bat an eyelid if you lit a cigarette in a pub or restaurant. But now society accepts smoking is harmful and totally unnecessary and so we legislated against it.

"The same could happen with eating meat."

Charities have recently warned that the UK government needs to invest billions of pounds if it to meet the targets set regarding climate change and protection for the environment.

That's going to get more difficult after the UK leaves the European Union. Currently, farms are subsidised for the amount of land that they have, but once the UK is out, that money will have to come from somewhere else.

As with so much about Brexit, from where that money will come isn't immediately clear.

Last month the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, and National Trust said that £3.2bn that are spent on environmental payments and farming support under the EU's systems must now be used to help produce food on farms in a way that is environmentally friendly.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Interesting, Weird, Politics