The undeniable environmental cost of keeping livestock and producing meat (along with the many health benefits of a plant-based diet) are compelling reasons for many to cut out or at least reduce their meat consumption.
However, the average meat-lover’s resolve to go veggie is probably weakened when exposed to adverts depicting juicy steaks and mouthwatering burgers.
Well, for one Dutch city, these temptations will no longer be an issue thanks to a world-first ban on meat adverts from public spaces.
Haarlem says no thanks to meat ads
The city of Haarlem, which has a population of around 160,000 and is located west of Amsterdam, is set to enact the ban on meat adverts from 2024. This decision was made after meat was added to a list of products that contribute to the climate crisis.
Meat ads will not be permitted on the city’s buses and shelters, nor on any screens in public spaces.
According to Ziggy Klazes, the councilor from the GroenLinks party who first drafted the motion banning meat advertising, she was not aware that the city would be the first in the world to enforce such a policy.
Though other groups under GroenLinks believe that this is a good idea, there has been some opposition to the ban, especially from the meat sector who think that the municipality is “going too far in telling people what’s best for them.”
“We are not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen; if people wanted to continue eating meat, fine,” Klazes told Haarlem105 radio. “We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause.”
Greenpeace research shows that in order for the EU to meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050, meat consumption has to be reduced to 24 kg per person per year. The current average in the EU is 82 kg per person per year.