An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has “not become a vegan or anything like that” he told the Dáil on Tuesday.

He defended comments he made on Monday at a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting, where he said he was trying to cut down on his own meat consumption in the context of climate change.

He told deputies in the Dáil on Tuesday that he was specifically asked what he was doing on climate change and said that he was trying to eat less red meat, not give it up.

Hereford steak

“I had a very nice Hereford steak last night. I was trying to eat less red meat for two reasons; one health, the other climate change.

“It’s not flippant. It is a fact that red meat increases instances of cancer and contributes more to climate change.

“I can reassure deputies that I have not become a vegan or anything like that.

“I’m very happy to eat fish landed in Donegal and poultry and turkeys and pork meat and all of the wonderful products that Irish farmers of all sorts produce,” he said.

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