BY JAMES TWOMEY
A pub has decided to ban beef from its menu after the owner was left “totally incensed” by the Amazon rainforest fires.
The Three Stags in Kennington Road, Lambeth, has sold its last roast beef dinner, despite being named as one of the best roasts in London, after its owner Richard Bell said he could not take part in an industry that was having such a negative impact on the environment.
Richard said: “When is enough enough? For me it is now. In protest at the extreme selfish ignorance of our appalling current political leaders, The Three Stags is entirely boycotting all beef products as from September 2.
“Our diet must change because we cannot continue to exploit the planet so wantonly.
“What mankind is doing to the Amazon in order to feed beef to billions of greedy mouths is deplorable, and although my business is not vegetarian or vegan I feel the responsibility not to sell beef, as a statement to my customers and other restaurant and pub operators.
“Three hundred people have said it’s fantastic. Two people have called me a hypocrite, so the opposition has been miniscule. I’m shocked at the amount of support. People do really want this to happen.”
Richard has been the owner of the Three Stags for 11 years and is a founder member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
“I have been doing this a long time. I know all my farmers and fisherman. When I made the decision I didn’t think about much but my personal anger,” said Richard.
“When I saw the rainforest burning it tipped the scales. I’m committed to this. The carbon footprint of beef is worse than owning a car.”
The Three Stags’ menu will continue to include meat as Richard believes farmers using sustainable methods should be encouraged.
Richard said: “I will continue to proudly support Daphne’s Welsh Lamb, Creedy Carver and Norfolk Black free-range forest chickens and free- range Blythburgh pork.
“It’s far more important that beef is attacked more than anything, but if the public knew about pig farming they might not eat pork.
“Rainforests will continue to disappear to grow soya to feed cows that have more vitamins and nutrients and protein than the beef.
“Who knows, maybe one day The Three Stags will be a vegan restaurant, but in the meantime I implore you to take an interest at least in what is happening in Brazil, come and enjoy what we have to offer and embrace a diet without beef.”
Richard said he was investigating a beef alternative and the growing number of plant-based foods that will meet his sustainability standards.
Richard added: “ I am excited to join the fast-growing movement of plant-based meat substitutes like pioneering companies such as Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Moving Mountains that are so cleverly infiltrating the fast food industry such as KFC, Burger King and Greggs.”