Princess Anne disagrees with Prince Charles’s views on veganism: ‘You can’t have a world without livestock’

Royal also shares views on climate change and genetically modified crops 

Sarah Young
Friday 17 July 2020 11:06
Prince Charles calls for nature to be ‘at the centre of everything we do’

The Princess Royal has shared her views on topics such as genetically modified (GM) crops, climate change and veganism, which are in stark contrast to those of her brother, the Prince of Wales.

In a new interview with Australian Women's Weekly, Princess Anne discussed her thoughts on veganism, saying that "you can’t have a world without livestock".

"They are a necessary and very constructive part of our expectation to feed ourselves," she said.

“Perhaps my biggest irritation is single-issue groups...We need livestock as part of the genuine mix that keeps land healthy.”

While Prince Charles has never explicitly spoken about following a vegan diet, he has expressed concerns over the environmental impacts of animal agriculture.

In 2011, he attended a conference in Washington where he pleaded with people to eat less meat: "For every pound of beef produced in the industrial system, it takes two thousand gallons of water," he said.

"That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand."

Anne also opened up about her thoughts on the use of genetically modified crops, stating that they have been “enormous advantage” in specific environments.

She also revealed that she and Charles had occasional “but rather short” conversations about farming, despite the pair owning land near to each other in Gloucestershire.

“It has been an enormous advantage in many parts of the world to use GM wisely for very specific environments,” Anne said.

“It makes it much more likely to be able to grow what you need.


“I have to remind people that rapeseed oil was only made non-toxic to humans by the Canadians after the Second World War by genetically modifying the plant. It's (ironically) quite popular with all those people who don't like GM.”

Charles, who is a passionate organic farmer, has previously spoken out against GM and is also royal patron of the Soil Association, which has campaigned against GM crops and ingredients in human and animal food.

The royal recently urged people to think about more sustainable ways of consuming and producing food and praised the UK’s “dig for victory spirit”, referring to those who have started growing their own produce.

Anne's views on climate change also contrast to those of her older brother, with the royal saying she would not “go down the climate change route” when looking for causes of Australia's bushfires.

The Queen and other senior royals sent messages of condolence to those affected by the fires after at least 20 people died and more than 1,400 homes were destroyed over the Australian summer.

“I don't even go down the climate change route,” Anne told the magazine.

“I think the way people manage ground is part of the discussion...climate changes all the time. It has done so throughout the globe's history, so there's nothing new under the sun.”

She continued: “Somehow, we've got to learn that our kind of life is changing. We've got to remember to respect what's out there and how to live with it.”

In contrast, Charles recently said there was a “golden opportunity” to create something good for the environment from the Covid-19 crisis during an appearance at the launch of the Great Reset project.

“Its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change, and global crises like pandemics and climate change know no borders and highlight just how interdependent we are as one people sharing one planet,” he said.

Charles is the Queen’s eldest child and was born on 14 November 1948 followed by his sister, Anne, on 15 August 1950.

After her first two children, Queen Elizabeth waited more than a decade before welcoming her third child, Prince Andrew in 1960 and youngest, Prince Edward, in 1964.

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