Wearing a 'Vegan You Can't Get Greener' T-shirt Heather Mills as the face of animal charity VIVA! said yesterday that "The startling truth is that animals farmed for meat and dairy are now one of the greatest threats to the planet." This is essentially a spin on a earlier fallacy in which VIVA! stated that meat causes starvation. (See the article, Meat, Money and Malnutrition, from the March 2005 Socialist Standard. )
To use a phrase from the charity's latest campaign, Socialists would say that this group as well as the meat and dairy consuming "environmentalists" they are addressing 'haven't got a leg to stand on' when their green reformism is examined. Indeed, Socialists have since the 19th century been warning of the dire effects of capitalist production (see an earlier post from this blog, "Too late" to stop global catastrophe? ).
What is essentially missing from Viva's analysis and that of other Greens is even the most basic understanding the way capitalism works. We would echo today what was pointed out buy William Morris as long ago as 1886:
“a man can hardly be a sound Socialist who puts forward vegetarianism as a solution of the difficulties between labour and capital, as some people do” (Commonweal, 25 September 1886).