Lumley, a vegetarian for more than 40 years, said the meat and dairy industries as the “greatest source of animal cruelty on the planet”.
Dame Joanna Lumley has received pushback from angry farmers for speaking the truth about animal agriculture.
The acclaimed actor delivered a lecture to a packed theatre at the Oxford Literary Festival event, in which she branded the meat and dairy industries as the “greatest source of animal cruelty on the planet”.
The 75-year-old was giving a talk on ‘The True Meaning of Compassion’ on behalf of the charity Compassion in World Farming, of which she is a patron.
Lumley said the organisation was urging people to “Eat less diary, eat less meat, it’s bad for you, it’s bad for the animals, and it’s bad for the planet.”
However, her views on the livestock industry were met with opposition by farmers at the event. A female member of the audience rose to counter Lumley’s speech.
“Could I just speak up on behalf of a farming family Warwickshire who farms so beautifully. That’s my experience of over 70 years of being in farming,” the woman said.
“Everybody I know farms with compassion. Please don’t mark farmers as all bad people because they are not. Without farms it is very, very sad world.”
The Absolutely Fabulous star responded by saying she meant no “insult to fine farmers” and that her comments were about factory farming in particular.
She also pointed to the sheer magnitude of the industry’s impact on the animals.
“You can’t even imagine it – 80 billion of them are slaughtered every year,” the actor said.
Is Dame Joanna Lumley vegan?
Lumley has been vegetarian since 1970.
In an interview with PETA, she revealed: “I was eating a steak, and I looked down and for the first time it suddenly looked like flesh to me—like a dead creature. In a flash, I realized that every time I ate any kind of meat, something had been killed for me, and I stopped eating all animals, not just cows and pigs but chickens and fish. I feel so much happier not being a part of the blood chain.”
Last year in an interview with The Times, she said: “I don’t like the idea of any creature having to lose its life to keep me alive.”
“Start small and ease your way into it,” she suggested.
“In no time, you’ll be eating such delicious food you won’t miss meat. I’m obviously 112 and a grandmother, but I’m as fit as a flea.”
The actress also backed this year’s Veganuary challenge to go vegan for 31 days in January.
“Veganuary’s mission is to make the world a kinder, safer, happier place for all, which makes their January campaign utterly irresistible,” she said in a statement.
“I’m in awe of every single person taking part for the climate, our rivers and oceans, forests and wild places, animals, and people. You’re all angels.”
Apart from promoting no meat campaigns, Lumley is also a passionate animal rights campaigner and has often used her platform to speak up for the animals.
She has spoken out against horse-drawn carriages in New York City and the transportation of animals from Britain to the continent.
Share this story: Joanna Lumley faces pushback from angry farmers after warning of ‘animal cruelty’.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
66 year old athlete says he is ‘visual proof that being vegan long-term is beneficial for our minds, bodies, and self-respect as a species
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 6th December 2022
The vegan athlete as a young child was warned that he had less chances of surviving because of his dietary choices. John Machin has been a lifelong vegan. He has never eaten meat and dairy. He is 66 years now, but as a young child was warned that he had less chances of surviving because …
90% of Brits acknowledge farmed animals experience similar emotions to cats and dogs, new study shows
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 14th November 2022
“There is no doubt that animals are sentient, can feel pain, fear, anxiety and grief. They can also feel happy, show great affection for other animals, experience contentment and more.” A poll has found that the majority of Brits acknowledge that farmed animals experience the same emotions as cats and dogs. Charity organisation Vegan Society …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …