Dutch City Bans Meat Advertisements

Haarlem officials blame massive farms for worsening the climate
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2022 10:24 AM CDT
In World First, Dutch City Bans Ads for Meat
The Dutch city of Haarlem.   (Getty/thehague)

A city in the Netherlands has become the first in the world to ban advertisements of meat in public places. Starting in 2024, the ads will be barred from appearing on buses, billboards, screens, etc., reports the Guardian. Officials behind the move say it's intended to help the climate—they blame big farms that produce meat on a large scale with worsening global warming. However, the meat industry and other critics are pushing back, accusing the city of overreach in telling people how to live their lives.

"We are not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen," says the lawmaker from the GroenLinks party that drafted the measure. "If people wanted to continue eating meat, fine," adds Ziggy Klazes, but "we can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause." She and other advocates of the move blame industrial-scale farms in particular—for clear-cutting trees for grazing and using nitrogen-rich fertilizers that contribute to pollution, among other reasons—and it's possible that ads for sustainably raised meat eventually will be allowed, per the BBC.

"Banning commercials from politically born motives is almost dictatorial," a lawmaker from the right-wing BVNL party complains. A Dutch law professor predicts lawsuits on free-speech grounds from meat producers. The AFP notes a related stat about residents of the Netherlands: Roughly 95% are meat-eaters, and 20% say they eat meat every day. Haarlem, located near Amsterdam, has about 160,000 residents. (Read more Netherlands stories.)

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