Read all about our latest activities in our #MeattheFacts campaign updates

Join us for the first-ever European Livestock Voice Debate: Is livestock really destroying the planet?

30 November 2020 from 2:00-3:15 PM – The livestock sector is blamed for all sorts of ailments, from CO2 emissions to unsustainable meat production, a supposedly « unhealthy » food. Numerous calls have been issued to curb livestock farming, meat consumption, etc. As we move to a greener future with a stronger focus on health, it’s time to examine both the pros and cons of livestock in a multifaceted debate. 

Speakers:

  • Andrea Bertaglio, Journalist, author of “In Difesa della carne” (In defence of meat)
  • Michael Scannell, Deputy Director General, DG AGRI, European Commission
  • Moderator : Florence Ranson, REDComms

Exchange with the speakers and Q&A with the audience

Register here

We’re now on Twitter!

30 January 2020 – European Livestock Voice has just launched a Twitter account to spread some good news about EU Livestock and its contribution to a sustainable Europe.

Please follow us and engage with our tweets: https://twitter.com/LivestockVoice

European livestock sector unites to ‘burst’ the myths surrounding the sector

10 December 2019 – Representatives from the European livestock sector gathered in front of the European Commission buildings in Brussels to address the danger of oversimplifying the debate around livestock and its role in European society. The flash action organised by European Livestock Voice and the Wallonian Farmers Association (FWA) echoes a number of concerns highlighted by the numerous protests that have taken place in different European countries in recent weeks. 
>> Read the full press release

Giving farmers a voice

20 November – In our latest activities we’ve been talking to some farmers, asking them what they think about peoples’ perceptions on livestock farming. In this video, Alexis Pugliese, a pig farmer from France talks about what he feels are the biggest misconceptions about his job. He also offers this thoughts on how farmers can take action to stop misinformation.

SUPPORTING THE CREATION OF AN EP INTERGROUP ON ‘LIVESTOCK & LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS’

13 November: European Livestock Voice and supporting organisations sent MEPs a joint letter and declaration of support for the creation of a European Parliamentary Intergroup on “Livestock & livestock products”.

>>> Download the joint letter to MEPs
>>> Download the declaration of support for an EP Intergroup on Livestock and Livestock products

We’re in Brussels metro stations!

10 October – As getting peoples’ attention in a super-charged Brussels can sometimes be difficult, we thought some adverts in the Brussels metro stations might be a good way to turn some heads and challenge some thinking around livestock production in Europe.

With an artist’s portrayal of what a future without livestock would look like or what potential alternatives could mean, the posters are intended to make people think a little further than a simple ‘cut’ and ‘replace’. Livestock is a key contributor to so many elements in our lives, some of which we are not even aware. The intention of these visuals is to open discussion and invite reflection on the subject.

One visual focuses on the link between biodiversity and livestock, as livestock production is often blamed for negative impacts on biodiversity, while its contribution to the bioeconomy or circular economy is often overlooked.
A second visual presents a village square with different businesses having a dependency on livestock production, with the alternative image depicting potential rural desertification as a consequence of a ‘livestock exit’.
The third visual focuses on the question of current alternatives to meat production and their potential impact which is often absent from the debates on the future of food.

We encourage people to share their real-life livestock stories too and to get involved with making sure that everyone can #MeattheFacts!

Video launched

30 September – So after a few hiccups with uploading and some exchanges with Google over appropriate content – we’re just showing what others say – our campaign video is now live!
Today it’s easier to say what we don’t want and what we don’t like. It’s easy to put forward an opinion and to hit the headlines with striking images. The problem is, we tend to forget all about the knock-on effects of those opinions…….

Please watch, like, share and encourage others to share. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #MeattheFacts!

Launched and live in the European Parliament!

25 September 2019 – The livestock sector is today at the epicentre of public debates in Europe and beyond. These debates are now mainly dominated by interest groups who spread myths and radical views about livestock farming. Ever increasing on social media and in the press, these myths and opinions end up portraying a picture that is in stark contrast with the reality experienced and lived every day by thousands of European farmers and professionals on the ground. These debates have strong impacts on the views of European consumers on the role of animal products in their lifestyle choices and they push the livestock sector into an extremely defensive corner of society. This negatively affects the EU livestock farming model and policy framework, increasing the challenges faced by our farming communities to ensure their economic viability, generational renewal and their capacity to adapt to societal and environmental demands.

In this context, and for the first time at EU level, over a dozen livestock organisations have decided to come together to take joint action to elevate the “other side” of the story, necessary to restore balance and factual information on both the impact and the contribution of the European livestock sector. With this objective in mind, European Livestock Voice has developed its own information hub, an online portal reviewing the accuracy of the most frequently made statements about livestock production, consumption and its benefits:

NO – 1kg of beef does not require 15,000L of drinking water to be produced

YES – The average size for livestock farms in Europe is below 50 hectares and Europe remains a model of  family farming

NO – Using land for animal feed does not necessarily compete with land for human food

YES – European farmers care for their animals as it is fully in their interest to do so.

We are convinced that the EU livestock farming model, based on diversified, local and family farm structures, is the backbone of the EU’s rural areas. It supports a great number of jobs and industries, it contributes to the circular approach within the EU bioeconomy, while also ensuring a steady and affordable supply for sufficient, safe and nutritious food, as well as many other products and by-products, needed for a healthy lifestyle or Europe’s cultural and creative industries.

Removing livestock farming from Europe –  a “Livestock Exit” – would have severe consequences. Europe without livestock would lose essential pasture lands, face increased forest fires, lack greatly in organic fertilisers, green energy and many other essential raw materials while contributing to an increased rural exodus. At the same time, it would mean the need to rely on imports for animal products, with virtually no control over the production standards and increasing the demand for fossil fuel-based materials.

To support the launch of this initiative two newly appointed MEPs, also livestock farmers, Alexander Bernhuber (EPP, AT) and Jeremy Decerle (Renew Europe, FR) have decided to lead the debate in the new European Parliament by hosting the launch event of our platform today in Brussels.

For MEP Alexander Bernhuber the situation is clear “Today’s debate about livestock farming is often held on a lack of knowledge within the society. The gap between consumers and producers is getting bigger and bigger. European farmers produce at worldwide highest animal welfare standards. Nowadays the challenge is to communicate the essential work of our farmers via several channels to the consumer. European Livestock Voice created a significant platform to brighten this issue and fight against disinformation at European level. It is important to spread fact-based knowledge about today’s livestock farming within the media. Hence, I strongly support this initiative.

On his side, MEP Jérémy Decerle commenting on the initiative said that “As a breeder of Charolais cows, but also as a Member of the European Parliament (COM AGRI), I can only welcome the launch of such a European platform, specifically dedicated to livestock farming. It could help to dispel some preconceived ideas about this profession and bring a little pragmatism into the debates. At a time when Europeans want to eat healthier and more local food, but also to better preserve their environment, farmers can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, and the search for solutions begins with a comprehensive and rational look at the situation.

MEP Clara Eugenia Aguilera García on her side commented “This initiative is a positive signal helping us in the European Parliament in our work to defend the EU livestock sector. The European livestock community works hard to ensure quality, sustainability and animal health and welfare. It has to be recognized while keeping a level playing field.  Given the ever-increasing number of misconceptions, more work is needed to restore a constructive and rational discussion around a sector so important to our rural areas, our environment and our future.”   

#MeattheFacts is ready for launch

European Livestock Voice is launching its first campaign with an aim of bringing some balance to the debate around our livestock sector which is playing centre-stage to a a large number of assumptions, accusations and far from accurate information amplifying on social media.

#MeattheFacts invites interested parties including EU policymakers and the press to check out some of the factual information we have compiled to respond to the main misinformation we have found online about livestock production in Europe.

You can also follow our hashtag #MeattheFacts on social media to find out what we’re doing. Feel free to share your real stories about livestock if you’re connected in any way!