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Prince Charles has revealed he’s stopped eating meat and fish for two days a week, and has so ‘for years’. He made the remarks in a major interview with the BBC, where he discussed environmentalism and deplored intensive animal agriculture, industrial fishing, and deforestation.
Princes Charles interview
When asked about how he felt about his grandchildren inheriting the world in its current state, HRH replied that he was ‘deeply worried’.
Speaking on The Big Interviews, which aired today, he said: “I’ve always felt that we are overexploiting and damaging nature by not understanding how much we depend on everything that nature provides and somehow not understanding or being trained to believe that nature is a separate thing from us.
“And, that we can just exploit and control and suppress everything about it without suffering the consequences.”
Humans’ disruption on the planet is ‘mammoth’, he adds.
And it’s because of this that he has changed his diet. ‘For years’ he has limited his meat and fish intake, taking two days off. And one day a week, he doesn’t eat dairy.
Moreover, if more people did the same, pressure on the environment would be greatly reduced, he said.
“…The business of what we eat of course is important.”
And when asked about his views on Greta Thunberg, he said he’s always been thinking about the next generation.
Across history, ‘nobody would address the issues’, he said. But upon meeting her, he says he shared her anger: “They see their future being totally destroyed… People should notice how despairing young people are.”
Further, when pressed on Extinction Rebellion, despite commending their efforts, he noted that activism isn’t ‘helpful’ when ‘done in a way that alienates people’.
“The difficulty is how do you direct that frustration in a way that is more constructive rather than destructive.”
On personal impacts on the environment, Prince Charles was reminded of his own carbon footprint: the heating of the royal family’s palaces cited as an example.
And, on whether people should reduce the amount they fly and their meat intake, Prince Charles responds: “Flying, hopefully, will become easier and more sustainable.”
Collective pressures are being made to help boost sustainable actions in the private sector, he notes. Here, there are trillions of dollars available, he says.
Charles also spoke about where animal products are sourced, advocating for grass-fed ‘quality’ meat over industrial farming.
He also brought the conversation round to ‘endless perverse’ subsidies in industrial fishing and intensive animal agriculture industries. This is ‘crazy’, he says and has led to scaling emissions.
On COP26 in particular, he hopes to ‘unlock’ vast investment and opportunities in the wake of COP26, to approach a more sustainable economy. “It’s a last chance saloon,” he says.
The alternative? “It will be catastrophic, it’s already starting to be catastrophic because nothing in nature can survive the stress that is created by these extremes of weather…The more we disrupt it the more impossible it is.”