Even vegans are responsible for the end of the world
Amid the daily hurly-burly of busy lives, there was a brief pause last week for severe existential anxiety when the UN’s climate change report made headlines. The report said we have only 12 years in which to drastically overhaul our way of life before we’re all doomed by a half-degree increase in temperature that will vastly increase the risk of floods, drought and extreme heat.
On the report’s heels came another one by researchers at Oxford, published in Nature. This one echoed the UN in its frantic and punitive proscription: we must cut meat consumption by 90per cent and massively step up our consumption of pulses, beans and tofu – become, in other words, dietary Jeremy Corbyns. (Corbyn’s first wife Jane Chapman once revealed that he preferred tins of cold baked beans at home to dinner out.)
I have no problem with people who decide they share Corbyn’s taste in food, or who like tofu and pulses. I like those things, too. But where I see only trouble is in massive global bodies and then, presumably, governments and lawmakers trying to cope with an existential crisis by telling people what they can’t do. It ain’t gonna work – we want what we want, so let us have it.
Clearly, it’s the (eagerly taken) job of the world’s cleverest entrepreneurs and scientists to come up with positive ways to stymie the devastating effects of global warming, and they are beginning to do so already, with clever ideas about carbon dioxide deflection and space umbrellas.
And anyway, the “ethical”, animalshunning campaigners of the world may themselves be, to use a metaphor in bad taste, on thin ice. Last week, the prominent vegan and “ethical” fashion designer Stella McCartney was told off by BBC tailoring celebrity Patrick Grant for her championing of faux leather. He said the fabric, made from polyurethane, which is nonbiodegradable, was actually adding to our environmental problems, and was polluting the oceans and killing off fish.
Not so virtuous after all.