I'm a middle-class hypocrite: David Attenborough admits eating meat

I'm a middle-class hypocrite: David Attenborough admits eating meat

I’m a middle-class hypocrite: David Attenborough admits eating free-range meat troubles him because of its effect on the planet

  • Veteran broadcaster, 94, said his conscience ‘troubles’ him when he eats meat 
  • He added: ‘If we all ate only plants, we’d need only half the land we use now’
  • Comments come ahead of the launch of his feature film which is out on Monday 

Sir David Attenborough has said eating free-range meat is ‘middle-class hypocrisy’ despite admitting to occasionally enjoying it himself.

The veteran broadcaster, 94, said his conscience ‘troubles’ him when he eats fish and chicken because of the damage it is doing to the planet.

Sir David said: ‘The planet can’t support billions of meat eaters. If we all ate only plants, we’d need only half the land we use at the moment.’

Asked when he last ate meat, Sir David said: ‘Can’t remember, years ago.’ But then he added: ‘I eat fish, and chicken, and my conscience does trouble me.’

Sir David Attenborough has said eating free-range meat is ‘middle-class hypocrisy’ despite admitting to occasionally enjoying it himself

He told Radio Times: ‘I’m affluent enough to afford free-range, but it’s a middle-class hypocrisy.’

His comments come ahead of the launch of his feature film, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, which premieres in cinemas next Monday – before becoming available on Netflix next month. It looks back on the defining moments of his life and the environmental devastation that has taken place during that time.

Launching the film, Sir David said wealthier nations must ‘give’ in the wake of coronavirus and the time for ‘pure national interests’ is over.

He said the ‘consequences could be apocalyptic’ after his generation ‘muffed it’ on the environment.

The veteran broadcaster, 94, said his conscience ‘troubles’ him when he eats fish and chicken because of the damage it is doing to the planet

Sir David said: ‘[The] Covid-19 pandemic has caused, and will continue to cause, immense suffering. If there is hope that can come out of it, then that may arise from the whole world having experienced a shared threat and found a sense that we are all in it together.

‘The same unique brains and communication skills that fuelled the development of our civilisations now have access to technologies and institutions that allow all nations of the world to collaborate and co-operate should we choose to do so. If we are to tackle climate change, enable sustainable development and restore biodiversity, then internationalism has to be our approach.

‘In doing so, we must bring about a greater equality between what nations take from the world and what they give back. The wealthier nations have taken a lot and the time has now come to give.’

The broadcaster claimed the world is ‘at a crucial moment’, adding: ‘Humanity is at a crossroads and I think the natural world is really under serious, serious threat.’

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