Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, has backed a call by Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, that South-West residents should rear and consume other animals than cow beef.
According to the group, cows are 'health-threatened' animals, therefore Yoruba people should eat alternative livestock such as sheep, rabbit, turkey, grasscutter and other nutritious animals.
This was contained in a statement by the Deputy to Alana-in-Council of the organisation, Prof Wale Adeniran, on Tuesday.
Akeredolu had on Monday said that chicken meat was healthier than beef and that it would enhance the region’s economy.
Reacting to Akeredolu's comments, the group said, "In a statement credited to Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu over the weekend, the Ondo State governor was reported as having called on the people of the South-West to embrace the consumption of chicken and home-grown goat during ceremonies rather than beef in order to prevent capital flight from the region.
"According to Arakunrin, about N2.5billion is lost to beef consumption on a daily basis by the people of South-West.
"Ilana Omo Oodua hereby salute Arakunrin Akeredolu on the statement credited to him in this regard, and we hereby give his call our unalloyed support. We commend the governor for this bold, patriotic and visionary statement, and urge our people to heed the call.
"Ilana Omo Oodua wishes to add that the people of the South-West should in addition to chicken, resort to other sources of protein such as our local goats, our local sheep, fish, snail, rabbit, duck, turkey and grass cutter for ceremonies and daily consumption.
"There are now modern methods for the intensive production of these sources of protein, which we urge the various state governments to support through training workshops and the provision of small-scale loans.
"The switch to these other sources of protein will not only prevent capital flight, it will create jobs for the teeming population of educated youths who will be engaged in the production and processing of these alternative sources of protein.
"Furthermore, medical experts and nutritionists advise against the consumption of beef, that is, red meat. Red meat is universally recognised as being injurious to human health.
"Consequently, they advise that people should consume the other types of meat named above, which are known as lean meat and which are acknowledged to be more beneficial to human health. We wish to add that cows which are poorly nourished, made to trek thousands of kilometres and more often than not, diseased can impair the health of our people.
"In conclusion, Ilana Omo Oodua hereby calls on all Yoruba traditional rulers, farmers, butchers, traders, transporters, women associations, youth associations, intelligentsia, students, professionals, religious leaders of all faiths, self-determination and civic organidations, teachers and politicians to join hands to make the rejection of beef happen quickly and immediately across the length and breath of Yorubaland."