Tallow in the Five Pound Note: NO THANKS
When the news broke about animal fat (tallow) in the new five pound note it was a absolute shocker. It was just unimaginable that currency, something that we all must value and handle contained animal fat. The very thing with which we carry out our daily transactions, save, invest and give in charity is now tainted with a byproduct of animal slaughter.
Immediately I signed the petition, then a series of BBC interviews followed where I was question about the temple and general Hindu response. At the temple we decided to no longer accept the notes, despite the impact that would have on donations. How could we receive them in a sacred place where cows are revered and protected. The new notes could not be the medium of peoples devotions as they give charity to the temple. The new note itself is against our values, the values we promote for a better lifestyle.
Thanks to the petition of Doug Maw, the Bank of England responded positively saying that they are taking the concern very seriously and are in discussions with the production company. Hopefully the solution will soon be found and announced.
Importantly what has come of all this has been the level of attention it has brought to the animal products in our day to day lives. Whether it's in car seats, toothpaste or other plastic conveniences, we tend to be unaware and largely uninformed. Though animal products are somewhat all pervading and in instances unavoidable, each one of us must live with our conscience and draw the line somewhere. To what degree will we live with and be implicated by animal cruelty. To live in absolute denial or to expect a utopian solution doesn't seem to help us. But small changes can be made.
So now with refusing the new fivers wherever I go, I have now decided that to be a vegetarian is not enough. All forms of dairy come from a massive industry of animal cruelty and slaughter. Even organic dairies must slaughter and sell of calves to an early death. Unless dairy is from a protected herd of cows (ahimsa) it is just no longer acceptable. For sure this won't change much on the grand scheme of things, but it is a small step forward, one that I can take, and from there I can consider my next.
Perhaps you might join me.
Here are some links for all the media stories: