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Regenuary vs Veganuary : Eat Less Meat But Choose Wisely

Last January, Jimmy was invited by the Press & Journal to offer his opinion on the Veganuary movement and how damaging it is to our local fish and meat industries in a Regenuary vs Veganuary piece. As Veganuary 2023 gets underway, it’s a great time to revisit this opinion piece and offer our own advice on how to choose a more sustainable and beneficial lifestyle.:

Regenuary vs Veganuary
Jimmy suggests choosing meats and seafood carefully, sourcing from local suppliers as opposed to cutting them out completely - this benefits your health, pocket and our local industries

Last year, when I read Marks and Spencer’s Facebook post that skipping meat for one day a week has the same impact on your carbon footprint as not driving your car for a month, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

Not only is it completely irresponsible but it is factually incorrect.

I suppose if you are skipping eating lamb shipped all the way from New Zealand to M&S’s shop at Union Square, the numbers may stack up.

But is choosing a lab-developed or soy-based meal over a fish landed, processed and delivered in the north-east really the more environmentally friendly choice?

The Facebook post that Marks & Spencer’s posted originally before editing it.
Regenuary vs Veganuary: The Facebook post that Marks & Spencer’s posted originally before editing it.

These big companies and brands like M&S jumping on the Veganuary bandwagon are having such a negative impact on local fishing and farming communities at a time when they should be supporting them as much as possible. It is disheartening to be continually vilified by the media for practices that have been carried out since the dawn of civilisation.

Scottish Produce is among some of the best in the world

We are lucky enough that our small corner of Scotland boasts some of the most beautiful and delicious produce in the world, not just our country.

World famous beef and seafood harvested and processed right here in north-east of Scotland, delicious yoghurt, rapeseed oils and even beer!

We should be celebrating that, not penalising the communities who rely on these industries by refusing to buy or eat these products.

We’ve had to combat Brexit, the pandemic, the Seaspiracy documentary (if you can call that a documentary) and now we are being told that we should be giving up meat and seafood altogether, lest world come to an end.

Regenuary vs Veganuary
The Seaspiracy documentary shared a very unfair narrative about Scotland's salmon farming industry

Making Changes - Regenuary vs Veganuary

Climate change is a real issue and we are playing our part; Amity Fish Company were a proud supplier at COP26 and we have been continually adjusting our processes and reducing our packing to provide a leaner, greener service that matches our sustainable produce. Becoming a more sustainable business to match our responsibly sourced produce is a key aim as we continue to develop and grow.

Seafood in particular is now harvested by a fleet of modern efficient vessels that will continue to be at the forefront of innovation providing healthy, sustainably harvested proteins for all to enjoy.

Regenuary vs Veganuary
Skippers continue to be at the forefront of innovation providing healthy, sustainably harvested proteins for all to enjoy.

Rather than cutting out seafood and meat, people should be doing the research, asking questions and finding out where their food comes from. Not just meat but all food – and then make the informed decisions on the food they choose to eat and the industries they support.

Did you know the harvesting of avocados results in mass deforestation of the Amazon rainforest? And that’s before you consider its carbon footprint to get to you. That soy-based dish? Soy production causes greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. 

There is real value in eating locally caught or reared food

If you are choosing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for ethical or dietary reasons, I applaud you.

What I won’t stand for is scaremongering the public into cutting out meat altogether.

Cod with lemon garlic marinade rice
Plant based and lab created alternaties cannot compare with the taste and healthy benefits provided by a locally caught fish.

The Ethical Butcher is running a fantastic campaign called Regenuary which encourages folks to choose food from regenerative sources as opposed to cutting out certain foods. Their aim is to support the UK farming industry but the aim of this campaign is certainly applicable to the UK fishing industry too.

The concept of Regenuary is to consider the environmental impact of everything you eat, not just meat – and its’s a great initiative, definitely give it a read.

How To Get Involved in Regenuary according to Ethical Butcher

For more info on Regenuary head to the Ethical Butcher website.

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