New Animal Fat Money Causes Outrage and Resistance Among U.K. Vegetarians

New Animal Fat Money Causes Outrage and Resistance Among U.K. Vegetarians

The updated British five-pound note not only depicts a new face (Winston Churchill), but also has a surprising new ingredient: animal fat.Vegans and vegetarians have united in protest of the note due to the fact that it contains an animal product.1 While the note was released in September, the Bank of England disclosed this week that the money contains traces of tallow, a derivation of animal fat that is used to produce products such as soap.1 The use of tallow upset many Hindus, who view cows as sacred creatures.1 A few Hindu leaders are considering banning the money from temples in Britain.1 Additionally, many vegetarians and vegans responded by promoting a petition on Change.org, which has received over 130,000 supporters so far.3

The petition, written by Doug Maw, stated that “this is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the U.K.”2

Innovia Films, the company that provides the polymer for cash production, reported that it is currently searching for methods to remove the minute traces of tallow yet that the process will be difficult and more time is needed.2 Innovia would not state the type of animal the fat came from.4 In addition to England, the company supplies polymer to twenty three other countries. When asked about the use of tallow in other currencies, Innovia did not report whether that polymer contains animal fat as well.4

Although Innovia did not state the type of animal fat used, the majority of tallow comes from sheep and cattle.1 The director of PETA UK, Elisa Allen, has been vocal about tallow. She has claimed that millions of cows are killed every year for their meat and tallow and that this process is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases in the world.1 She stated that the best way to support the protest is “to vote with our wallets and not give our cash to industries which harm animals and the environment."1

This note is the first to be printed on a non-paper material.4 The bill has been constructed from polymer as polymer is resistant to dirt and longer-lasting than paper bills.2 The Bank also sites advantages such as the strength of the tallow notes and the ability to recycle them,which results in less waste.1 However, despite the Bank’s arguments  protesters are still calling for the use of different materials. Ali Ryland, from the Vegan Society of the UK, said that there are many plant-based alternatives.1

Vegetarians, vegans, and UK citizens alike are petitioning for change, with support for their cause increasing daily. Due to the existence of other materials with similar benefits, many hope that the Bank will withdraw and recreate the current five-pound note.

 

Reference:

  1. Onyanga-Omara, Jane. "Outrage in U.K. after Animal Fat Used in Bank Notes." Usatoday.com. USA Today, 1 Dec. 2016. Web. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/11/30/outrage-uk-after-animal-fat-used-bank-notes/94661454/

  2. Close, Kerry. "The New British Pound Note Contains A Surprising Material — Animal Fat." Time.com. Time Inc, 29 Nov. 2016. Web. http://time.com/money/4585261/british-pound-note-animal-fat/

  3. Maw, Doug. "Remove Tallow from Bank Notes." Change.org. Web. https://www.change.org/p/bank-of-england-remove-tallow-from-bank-notes

  4. Chapman, Ben. "New £5 Note Contains Animal Fat, Bank of England Admits, Sparking Outrage among Vegetarians." Independent.co.uk. 30 Nov. 2016. Web. http://www.indepe ndent.co.uk/news/business/news/new-5-pound-note-animal-fat-fiver-bank-of-england-vegetarians-a7445221.html

 

 

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