In October 2018, Chris Packham announced that he was transitioning towards a vegan diet. Just a couple of months later, the television host and naturalist became an ambassador for Veganuary!
Writing for the Big Issue, Packham stated that despite giving up meat in the 1980s, his concern for animal welfare and the environment encouraged him to take the next steps and become fully plant-based.
Considering the environmental impact of a meat-based diet, Packham wrote in the same piece:
I am aware how eating meat impacts negatively on the environment. It costs so much more in terms of the world’s resources, including water, to produce meat than vegetable food. Producing meat is very expensive environmentally.
He further stated his concerns for the way that dairy animals are treated in industrial agriculture:
I also have real concerns about the way the dairy industry is run. I don’t want to be a part of that… I have been to farms where the animals never go outside. They are like organic robots living in a horrible environment with no behavioural or social enrichment. They are not allowed to be animals and I can’t countenance that.
His long-held love of nature has informed Packham’s thinking and the presenter further stresses the need to not just supports individuals looking at taking up plant-based diets, but to support farmers “through a process of change”.
Right now, the farming industry is pushing back against the growth of veganism because it sees it as a direct threat to its income. It needs to realise it has to change, so why not do it in a productive and positive way? We must encourage them.
Born in 1961, the nature photographer, presenter and author, has made a household name for himself by fronting a series of programs dedicated to the wonder of nature. Known to a generation as the host of The Really Wild Show (from 1986 to 1995), his career has also included many other well-loved appearances in front of the camera – the seasonal BBC nature series, Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, have become classic television for people across the United Kingdom fascinated by the natural world.
Away from the screen, Packham’s love of animals has seen the New Forest resident bestowed with many titles – he is the president of both the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust, and the vice-president of the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation and patron to many more like-minded conservation charities!
If you haven’t already signed up to our vegan pledge, why not join Chris this year? It’s free to register – and we’ll provide you with all the support, meal plans and recipes you could ever need! Just click here!