Exclusive: Ecotricity owner Dale Vince on McDonald’s going vegan, cultured meat and why vegans/eco activists need to get out of their bubbles

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In an exclusive interview with Vegan Curious podcast, Ecotricity owner Dale Vince has called on vegans and climate change activists ‘to reach out of their bubble and get other people involved.”

Commenting on his involvement with the Daily Express and the green campaign his company is running with the paper Vince said

“People on the left of life who care passionately about a whole bunch of issues can be purists and our own worst enemies. We need to reach outside of our bubbles and get other people involved. And too often, our approach puts off the very people that we need to join us.”

Vince also said about the news that alternative meat protein company Beyond Meat had announced a deal with McDonald’s to produce the new McPlant burger as a good thing. He did however acknowledge that… 

“It’s an interesting question of who you choose to work with. You know, it’s a very fine line to tread sometimes.”

Vince revealed that Ecotricity was asked by McDonald’s 20 years ago to power them with green energy and he refused. 

“This was a time when they were totally bad in terms of the rainforest and stuff like that. And it was never a question for us. We wouldn’t help McDonald’s green themselves up.

Today, it looks a little different. I don’t know if we would work with them, but they do at least have a plant-based option. And, you know, that’s got to be a good thing.”

“We’ve worked with car companies, we’ve worked with oil and gas companies, and we actually need these people to change their business models. They won’t go out of business. We can’t hope for that. We can’t ignore them and hope they’ll change their behaviour. I think engaging with them is probably the best way to do it.”

Vince also expressed reservations about the growth of cultured meat protein developed in labs.

“Well, I think it is disgusting. But that’s because that’s where I stand on it. I mean, I’m not interested in meat. So the idea of growing in a lab from cells that have been, you know, basically plucked out of the body of an animal, you know, does nothing for me.”

“Also, I think, what’s this meat fixation all about? You know, it was like we can live without meat quite easily and for most of our time on this earth we have done so, it’s only recently that as a species we eat as much meat in the West, not the whole world, as we do now. It’s a fixation as far as I’m concerned.”

However, he added that “it could have a role to play. There are people out there that feel if they don’t eat meat they are missing out and that’s going to hold them back. So let them have the lab-processed meat.  If that’s what they want, it doesn’t bother me in that respect.”

The full interview will be available on the Vegan Curious podcast shortly



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