Haarlem has become the first city in the world to ban adverts for meat in its public spaces, in an effort to reduce the consumption of meat and the greenhouse gas emissions it produces.
Meat adverts banned after 2024
After 2024, advertisments for meat will be prohibited on buses, shelters and screens in public spaces in the city of about 160,000 inhabitants, which is located about 17 kilometers from Amsterdam.
The motion was drafted by GroenLinks, a green political party, in response to meat being added to a list of products deemed to contribute to the climate crisis. A recent study highlighted that the use of animals for meat causes twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods.
Councillor Ziggy Klazes, of the environmentalist party, speaking on the Haarlem105 radio channelsaid: “We are not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen; if people wanted to continue eating meat, fine… We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause." Klazes also said she hoped that the initiative will be imitated by other cities, and possibly also by the national government.
The reaction to the ban
The controversial decision has been criticised by other political parties and the national meat sector, with a spokesman from central organisation for the meat sector, saying: "The authorities are going too far in telling people what's best for them."
Will this be the first city of many to ban meat advertising in the public realm, and will it have an impact? Watch this space.
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