Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show has been hit with Ofcom complaints after he ate a beef burger during a heated debate with a vegan.
The interview, which took place on Piers Morgan Uncensored on September 7, saw the controversial presenter row with Animal Rebellion activist Orla Coghlan.
Morgan was speaking to Coghlan amid Animal Rebellion’s Plant-Based Future campaign, which saw the activist group disrupt the supply of dairy throughout the UK.
After pointing out the environmental impacts of almonds and avocados, implying that it was hypocritical to not eat meat due to these, Morgan did not allow Coghlan to get a word in to explain why he was wrong.
Morgan then said: “Anyway, look, I’m starving,” while a delivery person appeared on screen carrying a McDonald’s takeaway bag.
“My response to you destroying all these things is to have a Big Mac,” Morgan added, before eating the burger.
The environmental impact of meat
Morgan isn’t wrong. Avocado and almond farming do have environmental consequences. But the meat industry is still undeniably destructive to the planet.
And while the water used in avocado and almond farming is often cited as a key issue, the amount pales in comparison to cattle farming, for example. A single avocado requires 140-272 liters of water. The same amount of beef requires 2,315 liters. One study suggests that 481 liters of water are needed for one ounce of beef, while 104 liters are needed for an ounce of almonds.
Farming cows, like the ones used to make Morgan’s Big Mac, contributes to around a third of human-caused methane emissions. (This is because the animals release the gas when they burp.) The average environmental footprint of an avocado is 0.19 kilograms of CO2 equivalents, while for beef it’s four kilograms.
Cattle farming is also responsible for up to 91 percent of deforestation in the Amazon. Burning down forests not only releases more CO2 into the atmosphere, but it also means there are fewer trees to sequester future emissions.
A University of Oxford study from 2018 found that western countries need to reduce their beef consumption by around 90 percent to avoid climate breakdown.
Piers Morgan’s attack on veganism
But despite the significant body of evidence that demonstrates why the meat industry is detrimental to the planet, Morgan continues to vocie his disdain for veganism.
When his show launched in April, he ranted against “vegan virtue signalers who want to make mincemeat out of people like me for eating steak.”
When he used to present on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he previously told a guest: “I’ve never met a healthy looking vegan… You’re a bit pale and you’re really angry.”