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CLARIN

Argentina's Meat Industry Has A Beef With Paul McCartney

Is the former Beatles band mate to blame for declining beef consumption in the BBQ-loving country?

A traditional asado (grill, barbecue) in Buenos Aires
A traditional asado (grill, barbecue) in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES — It goes without saying that beef is a big deal in Argentina, where barbecuing remains an almost sacrosanct pillar of social life. And yet, as of January, consumption has dropped to an historic low of 41 kilograms per person annually. So what gives?

That's the question Argentine beef lobbyists in what's known as the IPCVA, the meat industry's promotion institute, are asking. Could it be that the rise of vegetarianism and veganism are taking a toll?

The question has particular relevance given that just this past January, former Beatles singer Paul McCartney wrote to Argentine President Alberto Fernández to ask him to join the Meat Free Monday initiative.

To gauge the impact, IPCVA asked a sample population of 1,100 nationwide how they reacted to such actions on the part of environmental or vegan activists. The result? Seven out of 10 said that such campaigns did not lead to reduced meat consumption. Respondents found such actions ineffective, in other words.

Why, then, are Argentine's cutting back on beef? For money reasons, most likely.

That, at least, is the conclusion of the IPCVA, which accuses pro-vegetarian activists of being unnecessarily divisive. Their campaigns merely add to the "the social divides we sadly have in our country," the institute deplores.

Beef consumption has dropped to an historic low of 41 kg per person annually — Photo: Juan Ignacio Roncoroni/EFE via ZUMA Press

In this case, the lobby group argues, there's a "food divide," with people expressing their opposition to one another "in the way each of us manifests his or her way of eating."

Most of the poll's respondents effectively blamed vegans for feeding this gastronomic divide, accusing them of being more "narrow-minded" than meat eaters.

How should the meat sector respond to this hostile setting? Should it defend itself?

The IPCVA tells this daily that "clearly" for both the countryside and the city, where meat is produced and consumed, meat was not to blame for "this senseless argument."

"A meat eater would never reject a vegan... and always make place for them at a barbecue, so they can share grilled vegetables if they want to," states the lobby group.

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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