The European Commission has approved a European Citizens’ Initiative (ICE) titled End the Slaughter Age. If it passes, subsidies currently given to the livestock industry would instead go to alt-protein.
“We do not have much time left to do something”
This would mean that plant-based and cellular agriculture companies receive tax breaks and subsidies that could help to make alt-protein cheaper than conventional meat. To be successful, the ICE will need to collect a million signatures over the next year.
Almost 5000 EU citizens have already signed in the first few days, and over 100 organisations are supporting the initiative. It follows the success of a previous ICE called End the Cage Age, which resulted in a commitment by the European Commission to ban cages in animal agriculture.
Predictably, the initiative has attracted backlash from the animal agriculture lobby and some politicians, with Polish MP Jan Ardanowski saying, “This is an exceptionally important threat to the production of food of animal origin.” Former MEP Esther Herranz said, “If this initiative is successful, which I sincerely hope it is not, the price of European beef, pork, rabbit, chicken, turkey, or eggs would be prohibitive.”
But Nicolas Micheletti, activist and author of the ICE, argues that a shift away from animal products is vital in the face of climate change.
“According to the IPCC, we do not have much time left to do something,” he said. “We also know that animal husbandry is one of the main culprits of this problem, but by switching to an alternative system as we propose, it would allow us to guarantee survival.”