Recent coverage of meat consumption is making farmers feel like "villains", according to Fianna Fail's Environment Spokesperson, following yesterday's Lancet Medical Journal report on the link between meat and dairy and climate change.
The report recommends people cut down on their consumption in order to save the planet.
But Fianna Fail TD Timmy Dooley says the coverage is demonising farmers:
"The Lancet report taken out of context to some extent can undermine the resolve of people to make change.
"They look at it and they say 'if that's what I have to do within a year, why bother at all?'
"You get that sort of negativity and the fact that the thing that was highlighted was just the beef sector or the dairy sector or the agricultural sector in general, is making a villain of the farmer - and that's not fair."
"Pitting farmer against non-farmer and somehow the farmer being made to feel that he is to blame - that doesn't get us anywhere.
"We are now focussing on the battle between farmer and non-farmer rather than the battle together that we should the fighting.
"(That) is how we address the phenomena of climate change and the impact it is having on, not just the citizens in Ireland or Europe but across the world."