By Connor Mountford


A local organic farm has agreed with claims that people should eat less meat, but has also stated that the way we farm livestock needs to be changed.

Helen Browning, who runs Helen Browning’s Organic Farm in Bishopstone, has backed research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that eating less meat would help reduce climate change, but she has also offered different ways in which to do so.

She said: “Overall the emphasis is slightly misguided.

“If you have a low stock and you use pastoral farming it will recycle the nutrients in the soil and this is a good way to use the land.

“Yes, people should be eating less meat, but cutting out red meats entirely isn’t the answer.

“When it comes to cattle farms, they can also be used to help create the habitats that will help the wild environments thrive, something else that has been in danger recently

“If you’re just looking at farming through a carbon lens you will get a variety of answers, but you’ll also miss some important others.

“At my farm we’re planting more trees between our paddocks, which is called silver pastoral, which helps mix the field and woods together which helps bring real benefits to the wildlife whilst also increasing the total yield of your crops.

“Globally, there are lots of different systems. The one used in America, and most commonly looked at in these types of research, is called feed lock where cows are fed seeds rather than being allowed to graze naturally. That whole system is wrong.

“If natural pastoral farming is used then it increases the organic matter in the fields.

“Intensive farming and the farming of pork and chicken will cause problems, people need to eat less and make sure their meat is good quality.

“About 60 per cent of wheat and barely we produce is used to feed animals which don’t need it.

“There needs to be a cutting down on grain fed to animals, especially when we import grain from areas which use deforestation to create fields to grow the grain to then feed to the animals. It’s madness.

“The whole system is wrong, natural systems are much better and the way forward.”

The IPCC announced that switching to a plant-based diet would help free up land space that could help absorb some of the carbon in the atmosphere and help reduce the effect it has on global warming.

Graham Burroughs, owner of T.H. Burroughs Family Butcher, agreed with Helen saying: “Although you’ll be buying less, the meat will be a much better quality.

“A decrease in meat wouldn’t affect our business as we make sure all of our meat is free range and not over farmed.

“It’s high end, which is what people should be looking for. It might not be as much meat as you would get in the supermarket, but it won’t be pumped full of chemicals like growth promoters.”

Originally published in the

Swindon Advertiser