The news broke this week on Twitter that the brand spanking new plastic five pound notes contain a small trace of tallow- an ingredient that comes from animal fat. Naturally, many people became outraged and you may be thinking, why?


The plastic that is used in the new waterproof five pound notes contains a small trace of the ingredient  tallow, an ingredient that is commonly used in candles and other common house hold products. BUT, it’s derived from the fat of beef and mutton, causing vegans and vegetarians to demand the government to cease using it. And I agree with them.

I am a meat eater. I love eating meat and I see the health benefits, but I eat meat because it is my personal choice. I am not being hypocritical, I am being understanding. I understand and accept the ethical issues surrounding the topic; the fact that animals are suffering to meet our needs and expectations, so I do try to restrict the amount of animal products I use and consume.

But I also understand that other people are fully against meat eating and that they live their lives vegan and vegetarian. A growing number of the population are turning to animal-free lifestyles, which is great. So my question is this; how can the government let so many people campaign relentlessly, make amazing changes in the world and promote the vegan lifestyle, if they’re going to then distribute money that contains it?

How is that ethical? how is that fair?

Surely there must have been another ingredient that could have replaced it, that could have prevented this backlash.  In my opinion the government have a duty to remove this awful mess  from circulation, out of respect for others if nothing else. Thankfully, they have since announced that they will look into replacing the ingredient with a non-animal alternative. The sooner the better. 

Tom Talks