Vegans vs farmers: How a UK farmer broke down the debate

Rural Exchange 27/01/2018

When a UK farmer was asked to comment on the rise of veganism, he decided to post a video on his Facebook page to answer the question in-depth.

Tom Martin, or "Farmer Tom" called in to Rural Exchange to discuss his message on the supposed conflict between the vegan and farming communities.

The Cambridgeshire-based farmer was asked by a journalism student “how are farmers working to overcome the rise in veganism?”

The young journalist’s question stood problematic for Mr Martin, who considered himself an ally with anyone who consumes food.

“This assumes there’s a conflict – farmers versus vegans,” he said in the Facebook video. “And it couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

I have no beef – excuse the pun - with vegans.

“Vegans, like everybody else, couldn’t do what they do without farmers,” he said.

His video inspired his own initiative to start “FaceTime a Farmer” – where Mr Martin streams live into schools from his farm to educate youth on farming, food and the environment."

"I think there’s been a great divorce, particularly in the UK, between the farmer and the consumer,” he told RadioLIVE.

Students can engage with Mr Martin in a 10-minute call once a fortnight, which intends to connect his farm with the topic the students are studying.

The “FaceTime a Farmer” programme has been in pilot mode for the last year, and is expected to be rolled out officially in the UK in the spring.  

Watch the full interview with Tom Martin above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.