Joanna Blythman: Children will suffer if we don’t stop appeasing vegan fanatics

CAROL Adams, an obscure vegan author, was recently given a platform at an Oxford Union debate where she tried to smear anyone who eats meat, dairy, fish, or eggs.

She hurled every insult in the ‘woke’ lexicon at us.

Including animal source foods in your diet makes you a white supremacist, a neo-Nazi, a new colonialist, part of the patriarchy, according to her.

In fact, unless you shun foods from livestock you belong in the same camp as anti-abortionists.

“Your burger comes with a dose of misogyny” she opined, because “meat eating is one of the ways gender-based structures of oppression are perpetuated.”

White supremacists – that’s those of us who enjoy an omnivore diet – are “weaponising the baiting of liberal men and so-called ‘soy boys’, all part of the neo-Nazi messaging.”

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She adds: “Our whiteness is part of the problem of meat eating. The assumption that the best protein comes from corpses is a racist belief”.

How do you even begin to address such unhinged sentiments?

It should be easy to counter with cool, factual, point-by-point refutations. Why bother, though, when any such counter-response would flow over her like water off a duck’s back?

I must watch my language here. Am I being duckist? By using a negative expression that involves an animal, am I exposing my underlying white supremacist, patriarchy-brainwashed mindset?

Even now, the woke thought-police could be poring over this column with a view to my humiliation, de-platforming, and cancellation.

I joke, of course, although jokes are potentially explosive these days. It’s safest to remain poker-faced.

Adam’s audience fought to do so. Most attendees struggled to keep their faces straight, but as the minutes ticked by, couldn’t stop smirking.

You might argue that even by highlighting Adam’s remarks I’m paying more attention to divisive identity politics and vegan fanaticism than is merited.

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A majority of the public think that such ideologies have no bearing on their lives. They have a secret laugh to themselves and wait for the nonsense to pass.

That used to be my stance until I saw that drip-down dogmas, appeased for fear of offending political correctness, have a habit of becoming entrenched in our lives, at school, at work, at university.

Career-minded, keep-your-head-down pragmatists in public policy go along with these crazy credos in the mistaken belief they will fade out eventually. Don’t bank on it. We need to confront them whenever and wherever they manifest.

Earlier this month, parents at a Lancashire primary school took to social media to protest at the new rule that their children are only to be offered vegetarian school meals. Kids at Barrowford Primary are also urged not to bring meat in their packed lunches.

Another food battle made headlines this month when Jeremy Clarkson gave his high profile support to farmers opposing a plan to ban meat and dairy at council events.

Oxfordshire County Council wants to serve only vegan food at its meetings, and put more plant-based meals on school lunch menus.

“If they are going down this route, they need to source local vegan options but I think they also need to have a meat option, which is what we tried to put in as an amendment, but they voted against it”, Clarkson said.

The council leader, Liz Leffman, tried to strike a reasonable note, ignoring Clarkson’s restriction of choice argument: “I think he paints us as being very extreme, we are not. I am neither vegan nor vegetarian myself but I still want to include more plant-based foods in my diet.”

This is a prime example of gesture politics, from a virtue-signalling politician inspired by the nutty doctrine filtering down from strident voices like that of Carol Adams.

Believe me, I don’t feel that children must eat meat at every single meal; it’s the false message sent out that all meat is ‘bad’ and that being vegan is ‘good’ that disturbs me.

If you sincerely believe that schools and councils will start putting locally-sourced, healthy, plant food on plates, dream on.

The nutrient-dense meat, dairy, fish, and egg elements in existing meals will simply be replaced with cheaply procured, ultra-processed, ‘plant-based’ products. Kerching!

There are substantial ingredient cost savings to be made for food manufacturers and council budgets. But what about children’s wellbeing?

In New York City, mayor Eric Adams (no relation of Carol), has caused a furore by comparing cheese to heroin and introducing vegan lunches in public schools on Fridays. Monday meals there are already meatless.

Amongst the voices criticising this move is Ede Fox, who formerly worked for several NYC politicians, Adams included. She is now best known for her YouTube channel and podcast, the Black Carnivore.

It’s not the place of school districts, she argues, to make such decisions. Her concern is that one in three of every NYC kids is ‘food insecure’, meaning that they do not have stable access to good food, and so what they eat at school is critical for their health and development.

“School meals might be the best quality food many kids get in a day. To take out the most nutrient-dense part of the meal is the wrong thing to do”, she says.

In the UK, if councillors impose a vegan regime on employees, at least it’s only adults who will suffer. But disadvantaged children here are little different from their New York peers.

Realistically, they will never eat the mountain of spinach, or broccoli, and side order of ultra-processed protein isolates required to satisfy their micro- and macro-nutrient requirements.

Replacing a real burger with a multi-ingredient plant-based patty, breaded soy ‘nuggets’, or swapping real cheese for vegan imitation ‘cheeze’ won’t make our children healthier or enable them to make the most of their life potential.

It will only detract from the nutritiousness, protein quality, and digestibility they need to support their growing bodies, brains, and futures.

Passing off dietary dogma as moral superiority is a reckless game. No-one with influence should stand by silently and watch the casualties stack up.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.

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