Animosity is growing between ‘traditional animal agriculture’ and providers of vegan products: report

Animosity is growing between ‘traditional animal agriculture’ and providers of vegan products: report

In recent years, the demand for plant-based “meats” has grown — and brought with it some heated debates between proponents of planted-based “meats” and proponents of actual meats. Journalist Laura Reiley takes a look at that rivalry in an article published by the Washington Post on Valentine’s Day 2022.

In an advertising campaign, the San Francisco-company Eat Just has been claiming that men who avoid meat consumption are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction as they age — a claim that meat proponents vehemently disagree with.

“This Valentine’s weekend blitz is the latest sign of the increasingly vitriolic rhetoric between plant-based food companies and mainstream meat industries, one that could even be considered below the belt,” Reiley explains. “The alternative egg company Eat Just uses the ads to direct people to its campaign’s website, which claims men who eat a healthy plant-based diet are less at risk for erectile dysfunction, citing research.”

Reiley adds, “Erectile dysfunction tends to go with age. But it can also commonly occur in men with high blood pressure, a history of heart disease or diabetes. These health problems have, in turn, been linked to higher red meat consumption. But there is by no means universal consensus on this. And the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has declared the campaign as having ‘no basis in fact.’”

Proponents of “traditional animal agriculture,” Reiley notes, vehemently object to companies using the words “meat” or “milk” to sell vegan products — which, they argue, is false advertising since they aren’t really selling either “meat” or “milk.”

Danielle Beck, senior executive director of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, was highly critical of Eat Just’s recent advertising campaign — telling the Post, “This marketing campaign has no basis in fact, to the point that it’s comical. We respect consumers’ ability to do their own research and make choices about what they put on their plate, and it’s sad when others choose deception over fact. America’s beef producers will continue to be transparent as we share the overwhelming body of scientific evidence that supports beef’s continued role in a balanced diet.”

Sports dietician Leslie Bonci told the Post that a diet that has high planet consumption is beneficial. But she attributes erectile dysfunction to things other than meat consumption, and she doesn’t believe that the animosity between companies that offer vegan products and the meat industry is helpful to consumers.

“A plate is more than macronutrients,” Bonci told the Post.

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