Dutch city will become first ever to ban meat adverts

Dutch city will become first ever to ban meat adverts
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Haarlem in the Netherlands is set to become the first city to ever ban advertisements for meat from public areas. The move is part of wider efforts for the city to reduce meat consumption and thereby its greenhouse gas emissions.

The city is situated to the west of Amsterdam and has a population of some 160,000. From 2024, it will forbid adverts for meat, which was included in a list of products that contribute to the climate crisis.

Meat adverts won't be allowed on buses, shelters, or screens in Haarlem's public spaces; the meat industry has complained that the municipality is "going too far in telling people what's best for them."

Removing double-standards

Ziggy Klazes, the councillor who drafted the proposal, said she was unaware that the city would become the world's first to implement the bill: "It's not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen; if people want to continue eating meat that's fine," she stated. "But we can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and then encourage them to buy products that are part of the problem."

"Of course, there are a lot of people who find the decision outrageous and patronising, but there are also a lot of people who don't have an issue with it... It is a signal – if it is picked up nationally, that would be very nice."

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The ban includes advertisements for holiday flights, fossil fuels and fossil-fuelled vehicles. However, it won't come into effect until 2024 due to existing contracts with companies that sell the products.

Critics have called the ban an attempt on freedom of expression: "It is remarkable that Haarlem is running a poster campaign that you can be yourself in Haarlem and love whoever you want but that if you like meat instead of soft grass, ‘the woke brigade’ will tell you that you are completely wrong," said Sander van den Raadt, leader of the opposition political party in the area.

Greenpeace research shows that meat consumption must be slashed to 24 kg per person each year to meet the EU target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The average is 75.8 kg in the Netherlands, which is also the biggest meat exporter in the EU.


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