Justine Butler's Blog | Viva!

Justine Butler's Blog

Senior Health Researcher & Writer

I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

Palm oil – what you need to know

Palm oil – what you need to know

Palm oil is big business – found in around half of all items on supermarket shelves from margarine to lipstick. But some people are refusing to buy products containing palm oil – what are the issues and should we avoid it?...
Ruxton, you are spoiling us with your advice!

Ruxton, you are spoiling us with your advice!

The UK meat industry has just announced it is joining forces to spend £2 million targeting young consumers in a bid to promote beef, lamb and pork in the hope of saving a dying market...
Superbug threat is a 'ticking time bomb'

Superbug threat is a 'ticking time bomb'

Viva!Health’s Senior Researcher, Dr Justine Butler, spent this week in Westminster, attending two all-party parliamentary group (APPG) meetings at the House of Lords. Here’s her account of what happened at the first meeting...
Ahimsa milk

Ahimsa milk

Ahimsa means ‘do no harm’ and is derived from the Sanskrit ‘a-hiṃsā’ (cause no injury). It’s an important principle in Indian religions. Inspired by the notion that all living beings possess divine spiritual energy and that violence has karmic consequences...
HONEY – more hype than new hope!

HONEY – more hype than new hope!

It is claimed that honey can prevent, treat and cure all manner of ailments to from acne to worms! But how much is true and how much is hype?
I can’t believe the lies about butter!

I can’t believe the lies about butter!

A report from the National Obesity Forum is trying to get us to put butter, cheese and beef back on the menu, but government experts and scientists are having none of it.
The Vegan New Wave

The Vegan New Wave

In the last year there has been a giant surge of interest in the amount of exciting, innovative vegan food being produced. From the advent of aquafaba (see below), to the improvement in meat and cheese alternatives – it’s a vegan revolution! Innovation driven by compassion. Meat and...
The Dairy Industry is Revolting!

The Dairy Industry is Revolting!

Why are dairy farmers looking to increase milk production in an industry that is in decline? Should we be calling a halt to subsidies which would be better-placed helping farmers move over to growing arable crops? This week cows were taken into a supermarket by angry dairy farmers protesting...
Coconut oil… the best of a bad bunch?

Coconut oil… the best of a bad bunch?

Dr Justine Butler, Senior Health Researcher and Writer for Viva!Health looks into the health claims made for coconut oil and finds that although not as bad as butter and lard, polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils are still healthier. Coconut oil is big news; featured in TV adverts, health...
Meat Myths

Meat Myths

Can meat be part of a healthy diet? Do vegans miss out? Why do some go back to eating meat? What are the environmental and ethical issues? Should we eat meat? Twelve per cent of UK adults are vegetarian or vegan, one in eight meat-eaters would like to eat less meat1 and the meat-free food market is...
The French Paradox Puzzle and the Magic Bullet

The French Paradox Puzzle and the Magic Bullet

Apparently it is now cheese that is responsible for the French Paradox Puzzle rather than red wine! This revelation has made the headlines in the national press and of course is doing the rounds on social media. It refers to a small-scale Danish study funded by the large farmer-owned dairy company...
Sat Fat Spat

Sat Fat Spat

Ignore the misleading headlines about saturated fat being good for you – government guidelines are right on this one! says Viva!’s Health Researcher & Writer Dr Justine Butler Saturated fat is back in the news again. A recent study saying UK dietary fat guidelines were based on...
Buck Tradition and Ditch the Turkey!

Buck Tradition and Ditch the Turkey!

By Dr Justine Butler, Senior Health Researcher & Writer, Viva! Despite a significant decline in recent years, 15 million turkeys were still slaughtered in the UK in 2016. That number of people could fill Wembley Stadium nearly 200 times over! The majority of these unfortunate birds are killed...