FARMING FEBRUARY 3 DAVID HANDLEY COLUMN
I’m a fairly easy-going sort of bloke who believes everyone has a right to hold and express an opinion, even if it isn’t one I necessarily agree with.
And on that basis I’ve usually taken a fairly relaxed view of vegans. It is, I have always felt, entirely their business if they choose to turn their backs on the kind of diet humans have been eating for at least 10,000 years.
It’s a matter for them if – despite the warnings of successive scientific studies into human nutrition – they want to bring their children up on a diet of dairy substitutes which don’t provide the necessary levels of calcium or indeed iodine and which put the offspring at risk of early onset osteoporosis, though personally I wouldn’t inflict that on a dog or a cat.
I can even, in the interests of free speech, tolerate a moderate degree of their zealous campaigning – even when that campaigning specifically targets farmers who are doing no more than their utmost to keep the nation fed.
But we have reached the point where the vegans have crossed the line between being a lifestyle lobby and being an ethical terrorist group. And it is time all of us – particularly the authorities – said enough is enough.
The vegans’ vicious, misguided and subversive campaigning has now taken a far more sinister turn with the issuing of death threats against the families of specific farmers. All of course, organised from behind the defences of social media which far too many people believe somehow make them untouchable.
Well I have news for the vegans: the last time I checked the law a threat or offer of violence was classed as a criminal offence if accompanied by an apparent ability to cause the harm, which the vegans are clearly claiming.
So we have moved from a stage where vegans can be regarded as nothing more harmless than a deluded but well-intentioned fringe group to one where farmers are genuinely being put in fear of their safety by them. And that absolutely must not be allowed to continue.
What we are seeing, of course, is the real purpose of the militant vegans which is to destroy livestock farming worldwide – a philosophy which completely blanks out the environmental evidence that it is cereal and arable production which has a far more detrimental effect on soil quality and natural habitats than traditional livestock rearing, because giving meat production credit for anything must, of course, be resisted.
Not that the vegans aren’t happy to borrow the carnivores’ terminology for the substitute foods they force on their unfortunate children: the vegan ‘burgers’, the vegan ‘sausages’ the almond ‘milk’ whose only similarity to nutritionally-rich proper milk is in the colour.
But on the face of it a meat-free diet has the ability to turn a standard-model human being into someone with a warped personality, an irrational hate of anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs and a psychopathic tendency to punish them with violence.