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Interview with Simon Fairlie

What’s the place for meat and dairy in a better food system? As part of her Travels Round the Food Zones blog, Julie Brown starts a heated debate…

At Growing Communities one of the principles that guides our work is that the food we trade should be “mainly plant-based”. We think there is a case for the sensitive inclusion of livestock in an ecological farming system, and in the human diet – but as a treat not a staple.

We’re reviewing our principles at the moment as there is a lot of new information out there since we last updated them a few years back. And there is loads of literature concerning the environmental impact of livestock – much of it complicated and often contradictory – so it’s going to take a while to plough through it all.  I thought a good way to get the discussion going might be to ask some people who are respected in the field to answer the following question:

Some people argue that a vegan diet is best for the environment.  Do you think a better food system should include animals it it and if so, why?

First up: Simon Fairlie. Dairy Farmer, Editor of The Land and  author of ‘Meat: A Benign Extravagance’.

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