Animal rights group turns its fire on celebrity meat-eaters

Author: By Rachel Shields

Ms Simpson was singled out for ridicule after she was spotted wearing a
T-shirt bearing the slogan “Real Girls Eat Meat”, believed to be a
light-hearted dig at her boyfriend Tony Romo’s vegetarian ex-girlfriend,
Carrie Underwood.

Alistair Currie, a spokesman for Peta, said: “Jessica Simpson might have
a right to wear what she wants, but she doesn’t have a right to eat what she
wants ? eating meat is about suffering and death. Some people feel like they
are standing up against a tide of political correctness when they make a
statement like this ? what she is really doing is standing up for the status
quo.”

The animal rights group doctored a photo of Ms Simpson to read “Only
Stupid Girls Eat Meat”, and listed “five reasons only stupid girls
eat meat”.

In May the group condemned the British actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers for
admitting that he had tried dog meat while in China.

The Peta attacks are seen as a sign of the radicalisation of some vegetarian
groups. They claim eating meat causes environmental destruction, damages
human health and contributes to global hunger, as well as inflicting
suffering on billions of animals.

Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva!) claims that there are
currently between five and six million vegetarians in the UK but estimates
that as many as a third of population have significantly reduced their meat
intake.

“Vegetarians are still in a minority ? most people eat meat. You’re
sticking your neck out as a vegetarian, and so most are passionate about it,”
said Annette Pinner, the chief executive of the Vegetarian Society.

A recent pronouncement from the head of the UN climate change agency that the
best thing people can do to halt global warming is to turn vegetarian has
taken the debate a step further.

Paul McCartney, a veteran vegetarian campaigner, recently launched “Meat
Free Mondays” to encourage meat-eaters to eat vegetarian food once a
week, citing the UN’s statement as a good reason to forgo meat.

Yet there is evidence that the British public might be rebelling against
pressure to cut their meat consumption. Despite the cost of meat hitting a
22-year high, British supermarkets actually report a rise in sales. Waitrose
has recorded big year-on-year increases in the sale of most meats, while
sales of Asda’s “2p sausage” have gone up by 42 per cent.

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