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Is this the real thing?

December 4, 2020 9:00 AM
By Alison Eden - Parliamentary Spokesperson. Central Devon Liberal Democrats. in https://www.middevonadvertiser.co.uk/


Vegan leather. What do you think it is? It certainly sounds healthy and natural. After all, a vegan sausage is made of nice nutritious vegetables and pulses, vegan milk is made from nuts. Vegan anything is marketed to convey wholesomeness and virtue.

Vegan leather is not however remotely good or remotely natural. It's made from polyester and polyurethane. It's a type of plastic and plastic is bad for the planet. Education about the evils of plastic is far more effective these days and the understanding of how injurious plastics are to our damaged planet is improving. So selling a plastic mac doesn't test as well in focus groups of potential customers as it once did. Hey presto - change the name! I'd love to meet the evil advertising genius that thought up selling plastic macs as 'vegan leather' ones.

I have a real leather coat and a real fur coat. The fur coat belonged to my Granny and, as she was born in 1911, it's probably over 70 years since it was first tailored. It's warm without being heavy and it's less injurious to the planet than fleeces made from polyesters. I would ban breeding animals purely for fashion but have no qualms about wearing vintage fur or leather and sheepskin that's a bi-product of the meat industry. Should I?

I am shortly going to pick my New Year Turkey. Currently alive with its mates on the rolling Devon Hills, the point of its entire existence is to be carved up and I am entirely comfortable about that. I don't want to eat meat where I can't be confident of the integrity of the farmer.

Minette

Minette Batters - NFU President

How long though, will there be independent farms providing locally reared meat from unpolluted pastures for locals and for export? According to Minette Batters, the first woman to become a President of the NFU, "Forty per cent of our lamb goes to Europe, for just one example. We're not going to suddenly start eating more lamb here. If we don't have that export market, what happens to it?"

As I write this, there is no trade deal with the EU and our transition period ends in just a few weeks.

I received two letters in the last week from the government telling me I need to get ready for Brexit. The irony! Isn't that their job? I give them 0 out of 10 so far!

I'm on their list because I used to run a business. I can't imagine finding anything in that letter remotely helpful. Nobody can confirm what the customs situation will be for exporters. Nobody.

Our farmers already have the highest suicide rate of all professions.

Without a deal, says Batters "UK farmers would have third-party status and would face high tariffs to sell their goods into Europe. We'd be priced out of the market." The consequence for UK farmers would be catastrophic if this happens.

If Brexit means the end of British Farming as we know it, next year if my choice is chlorinated macerated turkey chunks imported from the factory farms of the American mid-West, I shall be wearing Grannie's fur while reaching for Quorn with vegan zeal. At least Quorn was once a fungus!


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