Vegan protestors are 'morons', says former Top Gear host Clarkson at farmers rally

WATCH: Clarkson spoke to ITV News Meridian outside the council offices

Outspoken former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has called vegan protestors 'morons' at a demo over plant-based lunches at a council.

The presenter, who farms 1,000 acres at Chadlington in Oxfordshire, turned up at the demo outside Oxford County Hall this morning.

It had been organised by farmers protesting against a proposal that lunches being held at some council meetings should only offer plant-based food.

After calling a group of pro-vegan protestors morons, the former motoring journalist, who now hosts hit series Clarkson’s Farm, said he mainly objected to the 'communistical lack of choice'.

Vegan protestors supported the council's proposal Credit: ITV News Meridian

He said: "The people on the council are vegetabalists and they are saying everybody must be vegetabalists.

"That seems to me to be a bit silly."

He added: "I've nothing against vegetabalisim, if people want to eat weeds and seeds, that's absolutely fine.

"When a vegetabalist comes to my house I'm very happy to scrape the top off the Shepherd's Pie for them and they can have the potato, and normal people can have the food and that is just good manners."

It is the second time farmers have demonstrated against Oxfordshire County Council's proposal - and last time Clarkson said he would have joined them if he'd known it was going ahead.

Farmers offered sausages to people gathered outside the meeting Credit: ITV News Meridian

They hoped to make councillors change their minds.

However, at the meeting today, councillors unanimously agreed to the proposal - which relates to around six to seven meetings of the full council each year - and also to endorse a policy to encourage a vegan alternative in schools.

Afterwards, councillor Liz Leffman, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “As I have reminded people many times I am not a vegan or a vegetarian myself and neither are many of my Cabinet colleagues.

"Nevertheless, I think it is right that we at Oxfordshire County Council will serve plant-based food only at the small number of events that are catered for each year at County Hall.

"There has been a consistent implication over recent months that we are pursuing the idea of plant-based only food at council events because we want everybody to convert to eating only plant-based food. That’s a huge over-simplification of what we are doing.

“A consensus has grown in the UK that we need to eat less meat than we do presently. We need to reduce carbon emissions and be more sustainable in food production. Once that is allied to good public health advice that eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables in our diet will improve our overall health, a powerful logic begins to form.

“The recent National Food Strategy, which is based on a review of the whole UK food system, recommended that meat consumption in the UK should fall by 30 per cent over the next ten years.

“All we are doing with our local policy is highlighting the benefits of including more plant-based food in our diet – both to ourselves and our children, our agriculture and our planet.”

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