Smoking, drinking and gambling advertisements have all been banned in many European countries with governments prioritising the health of their nations’ citizens. As the effects of climate change are growingly increasingly dangerous in Europe, the question arises: should governments ban advertisements that are affecting the climate?
The meat and livestock industry contributes to almost a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, leading the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands to ban all meat advertising from 2024 onwards.
The ban involves all meat advertisements being prohibited from public spaces controlled by the governments including advertisements on buses and at bus stops.
The ban is the first of its kind across the world; no other cities in Europe or any other continent have banned meat advertising. The extraordinary decision was put forward by a GroenLinks representative from Haarlem, Ziggy Klazes. Councilwoman Klazes proposed the motion because she believes the government shouldn’t promote the consumption of products that are affecting the environment negatively.
The ban will affect butchers and grocery stores the most. Some butchers in Haarlem are unhappy with this decision. One butcher recently closed his store in Haarlem due to “municipal measures” and stated that “this new ban of meat-advertisement is a confirmation we made the right decision.”
The below audio field report includes perspectives from the public as well as an environmental and vegan activist.