Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
A Dutch city has made the bold decision to ban all meat adverts in public – and it has caused quite a stir online.
Haarlem, which can be found to the west of Amsterdam, is going to be banning any ads featuring meat from 2024, with political party, GroenLinks, arguing that it doesn’t want to promote anything that is bad for the climate.
Ads on buses, shelters and screens in public spaces won’t be allowed to feature products that are deemed bad for the environment, and meat is the latest addition to this list.
Previously, ads for fossil fuel industries and aviation have been banned across Amsterdam and The Hague.
But including meat on this list is a call that many disagree with, including the Dutch meat industry, who state that it is “going too far in telling people what’s best for them”.
However, around the world, there has been praise for the decision, with others even suggesting that other cities should follow suit.
“Hopefully the Netherland’s lead will reverberate around Europe and the rest of the Planet,” wrote one.
Whilst another said: “Great policy. Banning promotion of harmful products is a useful step in shifting consumption.”
“UK cities should follow this leadership,” said another, tagging London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Of course, for all those in favour of the decision, there were others with passionate concerns.
“We’ve really lost the plot, haven’t we?,” wrote one naysayer in response to the decision, as another branded the choice “insanity”.
The Dutch city made the call after recent studies showed that global food production is to blame for one-third of all planet-heating emissions.
What’s more, producing plant-based foods used half as much pollution as using animals for meat, and the UN says livestock generates more than 14 percent of man-made greenhouse gases.
“The authorities are going too far in telling people what’s best for them,” said a spokesman from the Central Organisation for the Meat Sector.
Meanwhile, a representative from the right-wing BVNL party said such a call was an “unacceptable violation of entrepreneurial freedom” and “would be fatal for pig farmers”.
“Banning commercials from politically born motives is almost dictatorial,” Haarlem BVNL councillor Joey Rademaker added.