National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

The National Beef Association (NBA) criticises the extreme and unrealistic views in George Monbiot’s ‘Apocalypse Cow’.

10th January 2020

Region: National

The programme, which aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday 8th January, showed George Monbiot’s aims to eradicate farming, replacing grass and arable land with trees and rewilding the UK countryside.  

It provided no opportunity for the British beef industry to defend and promote the benefits of beef production to balance the discussion. The NBA stands by its point that beef farming is one of the most sustainable methods of food production, producing a high quality, nutritious protein source.

“The idea of feeding a growing population with little more than some ‘bacterial dust’ is ludicrous. You can’t feed people with trees, and I’m sure that a huge majority of our population would not be comfortable with consuming lab-grown meat and protein powder”, says Chris Mallon, NBA National Director.

“There remains a huge demand for high-quality sustainably produced meat from British farms and we believe that this will continue. We are all aware that processed food as we know it today is not good for us, so it is illogical to believe that highly processed chemical-based lab outputs will be our nutritional answer. Why should we be told what to eat and have our food industry controlled by a few huge ‘protein factories? It sounds like a terrible world.”  

The NBA believes that Monbiot’s views totally underestimate the benefits farmers provide to the countryside, including the environmental management of our stunning landscapes, which include hedgerows, tress and grassland.

Farmers are some of the hardest working people in the country, working long hours to care for livestock to an extremely high level of welfare. The eradication of farming would lead to large scale rural job losses and would also likely lead to huge imports from countries where environmental standards and animal welfare is considerably lower than here in the UK.

He continued, “It is clear that these idealists don’t have a clue what life is like outside cities, and the rural communities that are brought together by agriculture.”

The National Beef Association remains confident that sustainably farmed British beef will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.