Stop adver­tising for meat and air travel! Dutch world first gets inter­na­tional following

21 ספטמבר 2022

The Dutch city of Haarlem is the first city in the world to introduce a ban on meat advertising in public spaces. The livestock industry is one of the main causes of the climate and biodiversity crises, which is why the municipality wants to reduce meat consumption. Other cities have already banned advertising for fossil fuels, petrol cars and cheap air holidays. In Finland, too, the Finnish animal rights party advocates the abolition of 'unethical and unecological' advertising.

Advertising for a plant-based alternative to bacon in Haarlem.

It has now been conclusively demonstrated that the production of meat is responsible for a large part of global warming. Of all greenhouse gases from human activity, one third is generated by the production of food, with meat production being responsible for almost 60% thereof. Add to that deforestation and the use of land and water and it will come as no surprise that plant-based food is the most sustainable and greenest option.

That is why Haarlem, a city west of the Dutch capital Amsterdam, decided to ban advertising for meat from public space starting in 2024. This makes it the first city in the world to add meat to the list of harmful products that cannot be advertised for. Other cities have already banned advertising for climate-damaging activities and products such as the fossil fuel industry, petrol cars and air travel, but still offer space for meat advertising on buses, in bus shelters and on screens in public spaces.

End advertising subsidies and make plant-based the norm!

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MEP Anja Hazekamp of the Party for the Animals calls on European Commissioner Frans Timmermans to stop subsidies for meat advertisements.

For years, the Dutch Party for the Animals has been resisting the promotion of meat consumption and other animal products. Its appeal to the Dutch government to oppose the European billions in subsidies for meat advertising was adopted by the Dutch parliament. In the European Parliament, too, the party has been working for years to scrap meat promotion subsidies.

At a local level, the Party for the Animals also consistently advocates measures that help to reduce meat consumption, such as a ban on meat advertising or making plant-based food the norm during government meetings. The principle 'Plant-based by Default!', where plant-based is the norm and those who would prefer meat or dairy must indicate this in advance, has now been introduced at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and in Amsterdam and other cities.

The party welcomes the fact that more and more other parties support or adopt these ideas, like in Haarlem. "We are the hare in the marathon, the driver of the radical change that is so badly needed," said party leader Esther Ouwehand.

Finland to follow?

Call by the Finnish animal rights party Eläinoikeuspuolue (EOP) to citizens of different cities to support the initiative to ban advertising.

The Finnish animal rights party EOP, founded in 2015, is also taking the lead in ending advertising for meat and other products that harm the climate. Last summer, members of the party submitted an initiative to various municipalities to curb unethical and unecological advertising in public spaces. This includes advertising for animal products, fossil fuels, harmful means of transport and unsustainable fashion. A similar initiative had already been adopted in Helsinki: the city council decided last year to start taking into account the environmental impact of outdoor advertising.

Sign – for people, animals, nature and a livable climate!
To put an end to misleading information and advertising from the fossil fuel industry in Europe, a group of NGOs has launched the European Citizens' Initiative for a ban on advertising and sponsorship of fossil fuels. You can still sign until 10 October.

The Dutch Party for the Animals and sister parties worldwide are calling on world leaders to recognize the disastrous impact of our current food system on people, animals, the climate and biodiversity and to work towards a safer, more sustainable, healthier and more animal-friendly food system. Join in signing the seven-step action plan!