Media release published at May 12, 2020

Food for thought – TV chefs can be the catalyst for real change

Vibrant fruit and veg

Dear TV chefs,

As we struggle with lockdown, isolation and fear of infection, TV chefs can take the lead in making Britain a safer place. It is diet that has led to Covid-19, it is diet that will bring more pandemics and it is diet that can ensure there will be no more pandemics.

There is no denying that animal agriculture is having a devastating impact on our planet. It has ravaged our rainforests, is wiping out wildlife and has been a catalyst for the catastrophic outbreak of Covid-19[1]. Not forgetting the brutally savage conditions that farmed animals are forced to endure for their short, miserable lives.

Factory farms are squalid, filthy and disease-ridden places which provide a fertile environment for the transmission of viruses between different species and humans. Covid-19 may have originated in East Asia but factory farms can be found in every corner of the globe and their threat is just as real.

Given that, why do TV chefs insist on promoting the use of animal ingredients? Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen Live, Chef’s Table- the list goes on. Isn’t it time you took the lead and really began to explore the culinary wonders of plant-based food? Yes, Masterchef have produced a couple of one-off vegan episodes but it smacks of tokenism.

Vegan chefs are hitting the mainstream. Gaz Oakley has launched a vegan range at Wagamama’s and the famous vegan chefs BOSH are now regulars on ITV. The public’s appetite for vegan food is insatiable.

Going vegan is the single biggest action an individual can take to reduce our environmental impact on the planet[2].

If our entire species were willing to acknowledge and promote a switch to veganism the planet would do more than just recover from Covid-19, it would thrive. Wildlife would flourish, pollution would decrease, animal cruelty would diminish and we would see a dramatic reduction in diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers[3].

So come on TV chefs, step up to the plate! There are red warning flags waving in every aspect of our lives and you can help to turn them green – literally.

Siobhan Dolan

PR Manager, Viva!



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