The ex-Beatle, a well-known vegetarian, was speaking at a Brussels hearing on global warming and food policy, where he declared: “The parliament and national governments need to encourage, inform, help and guide people about the benefits of reducing their meat consumption.”
McCartney has been highlighting claims that the livestock industry globally emits more methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere than the transport sector and, given their strength as greenhouse gases, the meat industry should downsize.
“It’s been proven that that over-consumption of meat is injuring the global environment,” he said after the hearing.
However, fellow Liverpudlian and UK Independence Party (UKIP) MEP Paul Nuttall told McCartney he had been “duped”.
Inviting the pop star to a UKIP lunchtime BBQ called ‘All you need is meat’, Nuttall said he was sceptical of McCartney’s claims. “Much of what is said about climate change is highly debatable,” he suggested.
Meanwhile, UK Conservative MEP Richard Ashworth added: “What Sir Paul seems to forget is that farmers have created the green and pleasant land we live in and cheap gimmicks like this will harm our attempts to deal with the problem.”