I write as a meat eating smoker and loyal member of Comrade Corbyn’s Labour party here in Bristol East where our local MP is Kerry McCarthy, a vegan recently made shadow minister for The Environment, Food & Rural affairs. I am starting to worry that Comrade McCarthy and I might not see eye to eye when showing fraternal solidarity at our next branch meeting.
Comrade McCarthy is today quoted as saying: “I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it. Progress on animal welfare is being made at EU level... but in the end it comes down to not eating meat or dairy.”
Hmmmm. Campaigns to stop smoking are because smoking cigarettes is bad for you – if you do it often enough you will get sick. So of course is unprotected anal sex with complete strangers. But we do not have bath-house taxes instead we have punitive cigarette taxes (which creates a mass criminal smuggling industry) because middle class morality insists on the right of the state to decide selectively what we should or should not put into our bodies. Cigarettes bad. The todger of a highly promiscuous Easyjet airline steward, okay.
But at least there is a public health issue with smoking. Eating a balanced diet including meat is healthy. Eating too much meat is bad for you. But so too can be a vegan diet if not balanced out. I always thought milk was good for you. So there is no public health reason for Comrade McCarthy's campaign. It is down to her view on animals.
It is of course a middle class townie view. If we all went vegan no-one would rear pigs at all and sheep would almost die out in this country. Thousands working in farming would lose their jobs. Ordinary working class farm workers as well as rather richer farmers would be thrown onto the dole.
I remember in the Election that Comrade McCarthy was keen to deal with the Seagull menace that afflicts this part of Bristol. Surely this is not a case of some animals and birds being more equal than others?