Will NHS Scotland Protect Patients and the Environment After PETA Plea?

Will NHS Scotland Protect Patients and the Environment After PETA Plea?

Edinburgh – Amid the global health crisis and climate catastrophe, a group of medical doctors including Scottish GPs, nutritionists, and plant-based health professionals have signed an open letter to NHS Scotland urging it to switch to vegan catering in hospitals to improve patient health and recovery, reduce costs, prevent animal suffering, and meet its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions.

In the letter (available here), PETA notes that meat, egg, and dairy consumers suffer higher rates of early death, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Obesity rates in Scotland are among the highest in the world, placing its population at increased risk of developing severe illnesses or dying as a result of COVID-19. Yet hospitals continue to serve animal-derived foods laden with saturated fat. The NHS could save more than £30 billion per year if all meals served in the UK were vegan.

“It is a dereliction of duty that meals offered in hospitals are often far from healthy and can even include red and processed meats, which are known to be carcinogenic – it’s equivalent to distributing cigarettes in the pulmonary-care unit,” writes PETA Corporate Projects Manager Dr Carys Bennett. “Replacing meat, eggs, and dairy with vibrant vegan foods is vital if we are to protect the health of Scottish people and the planet.”

As animal agriculture drives deforestation, ocean acidification, water pollution, and biodiversity loss, the National Food Strategy and the Climate Change Committee have called for a significant reduction in the amount of meat served in the public sector. Going vegan can shrink individuals’ carbon footprints by up to 73% while lowering overall rates of “lifestyle diseases” like diabetes – and each person who goes vegan spares sensitive animals daily suffering and a terrifying death.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]