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Ed appeared on This Morning, which was hosted by Philip Schofield and Rochelle Humes, facing off against journalist Julie Bindel, a radical feminist journalist who has written for The Guardian, among other major newspapers.
The topic of the segment was ‘are militant vegans going too far?’.
Vegan for the animals
When asked about going vegan, Ed revealed that he ditched animal products three and a half years ago, after watching documentary Earthlings. “I felt like a hypocrite,” he admitted. “Here I was saying I loved animals, but here I was paying for animals to suffer and die on my behalf. I had to be vegan to align myself with my own moral code.”
When asked ‘how far he would take that’, he replied: “That’s an interesting question. Personally, I believe in education, and I want to talk about veganism as much as possible because knowledge is power, and when we’re given both sides of the argument, we can make a conscious decision…For so long, we’ve been fed the same propaganda about needing meat for protein and dairy cow’s milk for calcium, but this isn’t true.
“When we can level the playing field and put across what’s actually happening to animals, the terrible suffering that they go through, and the environmental damage that it causes to our whole planet, when people have that power, they are more compelled to make informed decisions.”
Earthling Ed spoke about animal suffering on the show
‘Gone to the extreme’
While Bindel agreed that we should look at how animals are treated within intensive farming, she said that she has ‘no problem with killing animals for meat as long as they’ve lived well and died humanely – if there’s a possibility for that’.
“I think what we should be doing is targeting the agribusiness and looking at large scale farming,” she added. “But my issue is that a number of vegans – and I’m not suggesting that Ed is one of them – will espouse this sanctimonious drivel about how it’s not expensive, it’s not time-consuming, it’s as easy.
“Low-income mothers, who have three children under five and have to feed those children, it is cheaper and easier, much as I don’t like it to give these children fast food, meat-based diets.”
She also claimed that since appearing on the show to talk about veganism in January, she had received a slew of death and rape threats.
“I was called all the horrendous misogynist names under the sun by some macho ‘brocalists’ as we call them,” she added. “Some men, who seem to think this is the new macho, and we can see this, in the way that some men are trying to pull other men into veganism, by showing that they can be big bodybuilders and can have massive muscles.”
“I don’t condone those at all,” said Ed, talking about the threats. “The thing is it happens on both sides – I’m on social media and I receive death threats pretty much every day. The issue is it’s such a divisive topic and people feel so passionate on both sides.
“It’s an issue that exists on both sides – and it’s not an issue from a vegan perspective, it’s probably an issue from a societal perspective.”
You can watch the clip here