jeremy clarkson shouting Jeremy Clarkson isn't happy about a Council's attempts to be more sustainable. Image credit: Lily Alice / Alamy Stock Photo. - Media Credit:

Jeremy Clarkson Protests Against Oxfordshire Council Vegan Switch

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2 Minutes Read

Oxfordshire County Council has adopted a vegan-only food policy, which means only plant-based meals will be served at council events and vegan options will be available on school menus.

Ian Middleton from the Green Party said this has put the council “in the history books” and “on the right side of history.”

He told the cabinet: “This has never been about veganism, which is a personal choice, but dealing with climate change is something we should all be choosing to do. This is what climate change action looks like.”

Under these new plans, all food provided at all council catered events and meetings will be “entirely plant-based, and preferably using ingredients sourced from local food surplus organizations.”

‘Utter madness’ says celebrity farmer

The move has been branded “utter madness” by TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who runs a farm in the county. 

Making his views heard outside the council headquarters with the support of some other farmers, Mr Clarkson said: “I think people have to have choice. If people want to eat seeds and weeds, fine. If people want to eat meat, fine.”

Clarkson, who owns a farm in Chadlington which features in the TV series Clarkson’s Farm, added: 

“It’s the principle of it. You can’t dictate. You might be a vegetarian but you can’t make everyone else a vegetarian just because you are.”

He has previously branded vegans as “lunatics”.

Councillors debate

Conservative councillor David Bartholomew called it a “bullying diktat” which sent a “worrying message to farmers everywhere.”

He said: “I respect vegans and their beliefs. I quite like some vegan food, but I abhor being commanded to eat it.

“Why does this administration think it has the right to dictate the diet of its councillors? Where will this authoritarian approach end? Will we soon be told how to dress?”

Councillor Ian Middleton, who put forward the motion for plant-based food at meetings and events, is clear:

“My motion is not anti-farmer, but livestock farming is one of the greatest contributors to climate change.”

Leading by example

Oxfordshire County Council is leading by example by taking meaningful action, despite considerable pressure from meat and dairy farmers.

County councils have the power to make their own decisions about what food to source for their canteens, events, schools, hospitals, and prisons.

Moving to plant-based food is a significant step and one that more councils will no doubt be considering if they take the climate and health crisis seriously.

Which council will be next to make the switch?

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Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
2 months ago

The enemy is INDUSRIAL AGRICULTURE, plant and animal. The Oxfordshire councillor is typical of someone who reads a few incomplete statistics and knows every thing there is to know on a highly complex subject. If the Oxfordshire Council had advocated the use of sustainable foods (both plant and animal) I might have been more impressed. There are currently more than a hundred farms in the UK producing sustainable meats. What we have here is an ignorant idealogical nitwit imposing his views on others.

PS. Is he not aware that at least 12% of GHGs come from arable agriculture.

David Richard Wicks
David Richard Wicks
1 month ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

In terms of climate impact factory farming is more sustainable as it uses much less land but it comes with a world of other issues. Better by far to go plant based.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 month ago

I’m afraid you’ve been somewhat misled. Most grazed animals use marginal lands (not suitable for arable) 4/5ths of UK farms are classed as Hill Farms. The industrial animal units by comparison utilise feed grown on arable, contribute nothing to soil health and produce vast amounts of waste which has the potential ( if not stored correctly) for massive pollution. This includes chicken and pigs. The industrial arable sector releases Carbon and Nitrous Oxide in large quantities ( Nitrous Oxide is up to 300 times more damaging than Carbon and has a life of 110yrs) as well as herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Soil degradation, soil erosion, and pollutant runoff into waterways and salt-marsh are also a major problem, Virtually all foods purchased in a supermarket are grown by these systems to a greater or lesser extent, the biggest culprits are: grains, pulses, oil seeds and potatoes. So unless you use no input integrated systems, few foods can be considered “Eco Friendly”. In the UK only 60% of current arable is suitable for use without fertiliser or chemicals.

She3pK1d
She3pK1d
1 month ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Are you sure David is the misled one

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 month ago
Reply to  She3pK1d

Since you seem to be implying that it;s me that’s being misled, I would be fascinated to know by who?

She3pK1d
She3pK1d
1 month ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

So misled he doesnt know by who

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 month ago
Reply to  She3pK1d

I’m waiting for you to tell me!

Sheep
Sheep
1 month ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Mate, you’ve been misled by the animal agriculture industry. The truth is, animal agriculture is unsustainable.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 month ago
Reply to  Sheep

If you read my posts properly you’ll notice I’m apposed to ALL INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE, That includes the current MEAT INDUSTRY. So try again!

Sheep
Sheep
1 month ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

I’m against Industrial agriculture and the meat industry. Any form of animal agriculture is bad for the envoironment. I also disagree with the guy above that factory farming is better

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 month ago
Reply to  Sheep

There’s a world of difference between “animals used in agriculture” as opposed to “animal agriculture”. The only form of agriculture that can be considered ecologically sound is ZERO INPUT, which in most cases involves the use of livestock. Natural grasslands can also be used for livestock in an ecological way but only if strict stocking densities and correct grazing systems are practiced.

The horrors and destruction of current “industrial animal Ag” have already been well documented, the reason I concentrated on “arable Ag” in my posts is because it has been almost completely overlooked. With the world losing 23 hectares of fertile land every minute 24/7 and with only 50 yrs of harvests left on major cropping areas, now is the time for a major change of direction.

The current reliance on fertilisers and agro-chemicals has been highlighted by the recent problems in Ukraine, panic talk of crop shortages and price hikes, when in reality we don’t need chemicals at all.

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