Birmingham Mail : 2020-09-25

18 : 18 : 18


18 @birmingham_live BIRMINGHAM MAIL FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 0 MIKE LOCKLEY BRITAIN’S REGIONAL COLUMNIST OF F THE YEAR GETS TO GRIPS WITH LIFE IN THE BIG CITY A MID the swirl of controvers­y surroundin­g tighter lockdown restrictio­ns, I fear the real bombshell facing Britain has been lost. Rowntree’s is changing its 139-yearold Fruit Pastilles recipe. The sugared pills will now be vegan-friendly. To those gloating members of the vegan fraternity, I ask only this: “How many vegans does it take to change a lightbulb?” Two. One unscrews the bulb, the other checks for meat ingredient­s. On the basis there isn’t a smokey bacon flavour in those brightly coloured packets, I’m puzzled. But I, like many in this city, am consumed by incandesce­nt rage. The legion of Pastille traditiona­lists will not take this lying down. I have already painted my placard: “Chew on this, Rowntree’s.” I fear the tide of anger from those who have silently seethed while Wagon Wheels biscuits shrunk and Toffee DeLuxe sweets were spirited from Quality Street tins may mutate into a tidal wave of violent insurrecti­on. The new Pastille’s formula will be plant-based and devoid of gelatine (Oxford English Dictionary: “clear, tasteless substance made by boiling the bones, skins and connective tissues of animals”). First they attempted to stop us devouring offal, now they dare to take boiled animal connective tissue off the menu. Unless we take a stand, eating roadkill will soon be a thing of the past. For the record, my grandfathe­r dined on a daily diet of tripe. Admittedly, he died at 48 and his passing was tripe related. The cow he was attempting to disembowel kicked him to death. The controvers­ial Pastille plans have been made public by Rowntree’s brand manager Meg Miller. She said: “We’ve had many requests from consumers over the years asking if we can make Fruit Pastilles vegetarian or vegan.” I am old school. I believe becoming vegan or vegetarian is a missed steak. But I have no beef with non meat-eaters. And Rowntree’s has heeded their pleas. Meg Miller added: “We want the brand to be enjoyed by as many consumers as possible and so we are delighted to be able to introduce our new vegan-friendly recipe across the full range of sweets.” What is wrong with people who turn their noses up at a meal of boiled bones, skin and connective tissue? Transformi­ng of the Pastille YOU’VE GOT TO LAUGH... AFTER finishing my main course, the waiter handed me the dessert menu. I asked him: “Why did you eat my main course?” ■ JUST found out there’s a library only three miles from my house. They kept that quiet. ■ “Welcome to the plant-based revolution,” said another. On the basis celery sticks make very poor weapons, I have concerns about any revolution that’s plant-based. I congratula­te them on their Fruit Pastille’s success, but I’m too old to understand, or even sympathise with, vegetarian­s and vegans. Call me picky, but I have no desire to eat food my food has defecated on. The stuff I devour had a sporting chance of running away. A lentil does not. As my mother used to say: “If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he would not have made them from meat.” Do they love animals or just hate plants, that’s the burning question? I read Rowntree’s promise and, like Alan Brazil, silently seethed. Turning to my wife, I made my own pledge. “Tell you what,” I told her, “if I discovered a new animal I’d call it a Quorn, just to really wrong-foot vegetarian­s.” as there’s not a hair in it, what’s the problem? The Scottish sporting legend’s co-host interjecte­d: “Are you a Fruit Pastille man, Al?” “Yes,” he replied, adding: “I will not be now.” Brazil’s boycott is welcomed, though I’m unsure how a discussion on Gillingham FC morphed into gelatine rage. As one listener tweeted: “Why do gammons like Alan get so mad about this stuff that literally has zero effect on his life?” It’s akin to Sky Sport’s Gary Neville breaking from criticism of Arsenal’s defence to demand Cadbury’s Aztec Bars make a return. Vegan and vegetarian­s are, naturally, delighted by the change. One posted: “Actually, huge props for doing this. I could never understand why in 2020 people are still making sweets with boiled bits of animals.” She hopes fans “will agree that we have succeeded in developing a recipe which is as deliciousl­y chewy as it has ever been, whilst at the same time being suitable for those following vegetarian, vegan and religious diets.” The growing “hands off our Pastilles” campaign has gained an unlikely champion in former soccer star turned pundit Alan Brazil. During his TalkSport radio show, Brazil broke from the traditiona­l topic of football to rant: “Rowntree’s has changed its 139-year-old Fruit Pastille’s recipe... to appease, wait for it, vegans. “What is wrong with these people?” Yes, what is wrong with people who turn their noses up at a meal of boiled bones, skin and connective tissue? As long I’M doing a sponsored 0.000005K run to raise awareness of laziness. ■ MY four-yearold grandson is already learning Spanish, but still doesn’t know the word for “please”. That’s poor for four. ■ friday £1,000 MY boring mate has just spent 45 minutes boasting about the time machine he’s invented. It just went in one era and out the other. every ticket ■ for in these winning postcodes NR29 3RA RG6 3DZ SG4 8JX SK16 5DE SO51 6EE MK8 8JW ML3 9NP ML9 3NS ML10 6AS NR11 7NR L35 3JR LE15 8AG LS13 1EJ LS27 0PP ME13 9QN BS9 4NE DE6 5BN DE24 8UQ DE75 7HA DN9 1DP PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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