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Friday, September 25, 2015

Labour's illiberal vendetta against meat eaters

I have commented previously on Jeremy Corbyn's decision to appoint a vegan as his shadow minister for food and rural affairs.

I actually have no problem with that provided that Kerry McCarthy, who has the role, does the job properly, accepts that the industry depends on meat-eaters for its survival and that everybody has the right to choose their own lifestyle. That would be the liberal approach.

Alas that appears not to be the approach being taken by Corbyn's new model army.

The Independent reports that Ms. McCarthy wants meat eaters to be treated in the same way as smokers and targeted with ad campaigns urging them to become vegetarians, presumably paid for from public finances.

She takes the view that ultimately people need to give up meat or dairy if they really want to protect animals.

What I resent most about this pronouncement is that McCarthy has put me on the same side as the Countryside Alliance.

They say that her views are"verging on the cranky" and have warned Mr Corbyn that Ms McCarthy's appointment has distanced farmers even further from the Labour party.

The liberal viewpoint of course is that if a person's behaviour is not harming another then they have the right to carry on without interference from the state.

Alas, Corbyn's Labour has moved even further towards the authoritarian end of the scale than it did under Tony Blair. It is not just his economic policies that should concern us.
I found the book 'Meat, A Benign Extravagance' by Simon Fairlie very helpful in navigating this debate. This review gives a fair summary I think.

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