BBC Springwatch and nature show host Chris Packham has announced that he is going vegan, and expects to have transitioned fully by Christmas.
Citing animal welfare reasons and the fact that meat production is bad for the environment as it is ‘wasteful ecologically’, the TV show host and famed English conservationist revealed in an article published by The Big Issue that he plans to change and lifestyle his diet for good in a bid to practise what he preaches in terms of protecting animals and the environment.
In an article titled “Here’s Why I’m Going Vegan”, published by The Big Issue, Packham stated his intentions to transition to a fully vegan lifestyle by the end of the year after he stopped consuming meat over 20 years after being inspired by fellow television presenter and co-host of “The Really Wild Show,” Michaela Strachan.
Explaining his motivations for going vegan, Packham wrote:
“Like many people in the world, I have had an interest in how what I eat impacts on the environment and on myself for a long time.”
“But I continue to have concerns about animal welfare and transportation. I don’t see any difference between the way I should treat my dog – who I love and whose well-being I’m preoccupied with – and a pig, who is just as intelligent and important as Scratchy, but is kept in a concrete pen where it can’t turn around.
“The progress we have made on animal welfare standards is nowhere near good enough for me. I am joining Compassion In World Farming as a patron very soon, because it is really important.”
Whilst the presenter has not eaten meat for decades, he has found dairy-products, particularly cheese, to be more difficult to give up.
Packham explained that whilst he believes there is “good organic dairy farming”, he has also visited farms where animals have a low quality of life and are never allowed outside.
“They are like organic robots living in a horrible environment with no behavioural or social enrichment,” he said. “They are not allowed to be animals and I can’t countenance that…
“I have coconut, soy and oat milk in my fridge. I often have almond as well. We don’t have any dairy in the fridge anymore. The last time I had cheese was before Springwatch in May. This is the longest I’ve ever gone without cheese.”
— Ben Sullivan (@_BenSullivan_) October 1, 2018
Packham also discussed how the issues surrounding raising some animals for food whilst loving others and welcoming them into our homes played an important part in making the decision to go vegan. He stated: “I don’t see any difference between the way I should treat my dog– who I love and whose wellbeing I’m preoccupied with – and a pig, who is just as intelligent and important as Scratchy, but is kept in a concrete pen where it can’t turn around.”
He also added that he is set to become a patron of Compassion in World Farming, an animal welfare charity that campaigns to end to factory farming on ethical grounds.