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APOCALYPSE COW: Outrage at UK documentary calling for end to all animal farming

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The food industry is destroying the living world. The way out is doing away with agriculture as we know it, and taking advantage of new technologies which allow meats and other foods to be produced in labs.

DAN SATHERLEY: ‘A new documentary aired in the UK, which calls for farming to be phased out in favour of food grown from bacteria in factories. George Monbiot’s Apocalypse Cow aired on Wednesday night (UK time) on Channel 4. It begins with Monbiot – who was arrested last year during an Extinction Rebellion protest – saying flying less and getting rid of plastic straws isn’t going to be enough to save the world from ecological catastrophe. “There’s a bigger culprit that hardly anybody is talking about,” he intones. “The food industry is destroying the living world and it appears to be insatiable.” The “way out”, he says, is “doing away with agriculture as we know it” and taking advantage of new technologies which allow meats and other foods to be produced in labs.

The same day the show aired, UK paper the Guardian published a lengthy piece by Monbiot in which he claims “all farming except fruit and veg production is likely to be replaced by ferming: brewing microbes through precision fermentation”, using only a “tiny fraction” of the area currently devoted to raising animals. “It means an end to the exploitation of animals, an end to most deforestation, a massive reduction in the use of pesticides and fertiliser, the end of trawlers and longliners,” he wrote. “It’s our best hope of stopping what some have called the ‘sixth great extinction’, but I prefer to call the great extermination. And, if it’s done right, it means cheap and abundant food for everyone.”

Farming animals uses a lot more resources than just growing plants, and methane emissions from cows in particular have been blamed for exacerbating climate change. But Monbiot’s views have come under fire from MPs, scientists and countryside groups… Pro-hunting and fishing group the Countryside Alliance told the Telegraph people won’t want to eat “processed bacterial slush”, describing Monbiot’s vision as an “authoritarian nirvana which he can dictate what people want to eat”… Channel 4 defended the documentary, saying it complied with broadcasting codes and was done from Monbiot’s “personal view” as “one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners”.’ SOURCE…

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