Survivalist Bear Grylls says he now accepts he was “wrong” to previously promote veganism, adding that he is now “embarrassed” to have once espoused the diet.
“I was vegan quite a few years ago – in fact I wrote a vegan cookbook,” the 48-year-old former SAS trooper said, referring to his 2015 book “Fuel for Life”.
“I feel a bit embarrassed because I really promoted that.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, Grylls explained that he previously adopted the vegan diet because he believed it to be better for health and the planet, but has since changed his mind.
“I thought that was good for the environment and I thought it was good for my health,” he said.
“And through time and experience and knowledge and study, I realised I was wrong on both counts.”
He explained that he initially had an affinity for vegan and vegetarian foods.
“I used to think they were brilliant,” he said.
“And then I started looking at the ingredients and just thought hold on, this is horrific. This is so processed, and it’s full of seed oils.”
Grylls said that he now thinks that “one of the worst things for the environment” is food that contains palm or soy oil.
“It’s terrible for the environment,” he said.
“It strips rainforests, and kills a ton of animals in the process.”
Having abandoned the vegan diet, Grylls says he has now adopted a red-meat based meal plan which he much prefers.
“For a long time, I’d been eating so many vegetables thinking it was doing me good,” he said.
“But just never felt like it had given me any good nutrients compared to the nutrient density I get from basically blood or bone marrow – red meat.”
“I’ve tried to listen to my body more, tried to listen to nature, and I don’t miss vegetables at all. I don’t go near them and I’ve never felt stronger, my skin’s never been better, and my gut’s never been better.”
He said it was a more “natural” way of eating, “like our millennia of ancestors would have eaten for hundreds of thousands of years.”
“It’s just been getting away from the processed stuff and making the predominant thing in my diet red meat and liver and the natural stuff – fruit, honey, that sort of thing,” he said.
“It’s just about finding a more ancestral way of living.”
Climate groups have long argued that meat is bad for the environment, and that the livestock industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock – particularly cattle – produce methane during their digestive processes, which environmentalists argue is a potent greenhouse gas.
As such, the Irish government has promoted plant-based diets for years in pursuit of climate goals.
In 2017, then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he was cutting back on his meat consumption in an effort to help the environment, claiming: “I am trying to eat less meat both for health reasons and for reasons of climate change.”
He added: “I think the government needs to lead by example.”
That same year, former president Mary Robinson said that the public “have to become aspiring vegetarians,” saying: “Eat less meat.”
In 2019 the Food Safety Authority even urged people to try “vegetarian eating” a few days a week.
Ireland’s Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity earlier this year recommended that the government should encourage the public to consume a more “plant-based diet.”
Gript previously interviewed climate radicals at an Extinction Rebellion protest, who called for cattle farming to be outright banned and said “it shouldn’t be allowed.” They also argued that the “national herd” should be culled. The link to that clip can be viewed below.