Just west of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, another line has been breached in the global "war on meat." In the name of fighting climate change, the city of Haarlem has moved to outlaw at least some advertisements for meat in public areas.
The law wouldn't take effect in 2024, to allow time to honor existing contracts with advertisers.
The Bigger PictureHaarlem's proposed ban comes as many environmentalists redouble their efforts to limit or even eliminate animal agriculture, particularly in the Netherlands.
As it happens, the Netherlands is a significant center of animal agriculture. That may soon change.
In June, after decades of ever-tougher laws targeting the ecological effects of farming, the Dutch government trumpeted one of its most aggressive moves yet.
It proposed massive, area-specific cuts to nitrogen emissions, ones large enough to shutter about a third of the nation's farms by 2030.
The announcement sparked intense protests by farmers, truckers, and others in and beyond the Netherlands—the latest since a similar round in 2019, after members of the liberal Democraten 66 (Democrats 66) party proposed slashing the country's livestock numbers in half.
The country is also home to a "food innovation hub" launched by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and partners ranging from MasterCard and PepsiCo to the UN's FAO.
So, what exactly does that "transformation" look like?
The very same white paper applauds work on "alternative foods and proteins"—in other words, soy-based fake beef, lab-grown meat substitutes, ground-up insects, and other options meant to replace conventional meat.
One Dutch trucker who protested over the summer thinks Haarlem's resolution is part of that bigger picture.
'It's Starting in Haarlem'Wybren van Haga, a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Belang van Nederland party, described the ban as "an attack on free enterprise and bad for the economy."
The Centrale Organisatie voor de Vleessector (The Central Organization for the Meat Sector) expressed similar worries about overreach, as reported by the Trouw newspaper and other Dutch sources.
Tom Russcher, press officer for the populist Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy) party, isn't sure if the ban will stand up to a serious legal challenge.
He told The Epoch Times on Sept. 9 that it's part of a much larger trend: "the government deciding what people have to do."
His country already has restrictive policies on cigarette advertising. Could images of meat soon be treated the same way?
If so, Russcher said, "it's starting in Haarlem."
Meat Ads and 'Meatposting' Fill Some With DisgustMeanwhile, many environmental groups are celebrating.
While not all environmentalists are anti-meat, some eco-activists don't shy away from sharing their distaste at the very sight of animal flesh.
They argue that "meatposting" props up an industry they see as harmful to the planet.
GroenLinks responded to an initial email from The Epoch Times, but did not answer questions by press time.