Why chicken and fish are less enthusiastic about the new food pyramid

Tobias Leenaert, founder of EVA and the author of How to Create a Vegan World, is happy with the new food pyramid. All he hopes that people driervriendelijke choices will make as a guide in their kitchen.

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Also read the previously published interview with Leenaert: Enfant terrible of the veganism: ‘you must make This for the 99 percent, instead of the full one hundred’

I’m a fan of the new food pyramid. He is clear, actionable, and evidence-based. And he came up to the stand as it should be: without the influence of the different voedingslobby.

This is also why the reaction of the meat is not long in had to wait. Comments like ” We find that the triangle is not fun because people our products less going to buy,’ not particularly credible. Hence, the men of the meat is also concerned about the health of our fellow citizens (almost all of which are to be eating a lot of meat) and about incompatibility with ‘the Flemish culture of food”.

But it didn’t stop there. Just now it is recommended to red meat to a minimum, FLAME (the marketing department of the Flemish agriculture) trotting along with a beef-roadshow and ‘the week of the steak-fries’. Intention is of course to make us understand more beef (home-grown) food. The campaign is being supported by environment minister Joke Schauvlieghe. Shame, where is thy blush?


“I hope that the food pyramid once all the relevant factors will include: health, sustainability, and animal welfare’

The new recommendations are a major step of progress. The message that we have more vegetable and less animal food to eat, is one of the most clear and efficient that you can imagine. If the Fleming there is a result, then that will be the public health benefit, and can be a huge savings on public expenditure. Gezondheidseconoom Lieven Annemans earlier, not so long ago: if only ten percent of our adult fellow-countrymen more vegetable would eat, would result in nearly 1.3 billion euros less in health costs in twenty years time.

Nothing but good so, with this triangle. But still: a critical remark in the margin. In an op-ed on the VRT website wrote nutritionist Patrick Mullie that three groups are not satisfied with the new recommendations:the food industry, the melklobby, and the voedingsgoeroes. I think there are still two other parties who, if they can take notice of the triangle, is less enthusiastic. That are the chickens and the fish.

If you people in the direction of less red meat (beef, pork, sheep) pushes, the possibility exists that they – apart from, hopefully, more vegetable, more fish and chicken to consume. That animal food is seen as healthier and more environmentally friendly (although we have certainly in the case of fish to ask questions), and hence by many policy makers as desirable.

What for health and the environment, a better case may be, however, that is not for animal welfare. Any how you think about the importance of animal welfare, you will agree with the following: it is better to have less animal suffering than more suffering. Chickens and fish are much smaller than cattle or pigs. If you have the same amount of meat want chicken as a cow, you can do more than 200 chickens or 360 carp need. That means that there are hundreds of animals more suffering.


“For those who care to animal welfare, chickens, and fish, the first animals to be shunned and should be’

The slachtcijfers in Belgium reflect not so much the vleesvoorkeur of our compatriots, as well as the size of the animals that we eat. Of the 318 million land animals are that, in 2016, were killed for food, was 306 million ‘poultry’ – mainly chickens. That there are 35,000 per hour. On the number of individual fish are not numbers – they are in tons measured.

Now let in addition, chickens, and fish, the animals are just about the most waivers of all creatures that we eat. Almost all of the three hundred million hens suffer a miserable life. Packed in dark stables, they will be as soon as possible (after six weeks) for slaughter. They live in the stench of ammonia, and are so heavy that their legs their own weight sometimes can’t wear. On their last day, they are heavy handed in crates pushed, in which bone fractures warp and weft. In the slaughterhouse, finally, millions of chickens bad anesthetized and killed in full consciousness.

In fish, the latter is anyway the case: their slaughter is not regulated. While people drown in no more than a few minutes, providing fish that will be removed from the water is often a agony that can take hours.

A shift in our diets towards more chicken and fish would make for the animals so anything but favourable. I hope that people who respond to the message, less red meat, that meat is replaced by vegetable alternatives, and not by chicken or fish. For those who care to animal welfare, they are the first animals to be avoided should be.

If we as a society find that animals count and animal welfare is important, then you must also overheidsaanbevelingen about nutrition take this into consideration. I’m a fan of the new food pyramid. And I hope that we in our growing triangle on a day account of all relevant factors: health, sustainability, and animal welfare.

Tobias Leenaert

the author of How to Create a Vegan World

founder of EVA vzw

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