THERE’S an old joke that goes something like this.
“How do you tell if someone’s a vegan? They will tell you . . . again, and again, and again.”
Finally, it seems, we’re all listening.
Cambridge University students have voted to ditch meat from their menus, following some lobbying from Cambridge’s Plant-Based Universities campaign.
So far, so elitist. But this, without doubt, is a landmark decision.
Where Cambridge goes, others follow — indeed, the campaign group has offshoots at more than 40 institutions across the UK.
Today’s university students are tomorrow’s leaders (44 of our 57 Prime Ministers are ex-Oxbridge).
University students have already cancelled the Commonwealth, our greatest playwrights, women’s rights, Easter, JK Rowling and free speech.
Now they are coming for our hens.
Their concern isn’t, per se, poor Percy Pig’s wellbeing — rather “climate and biodiversity crises”.
Never mind that today’s fry-up came courtesy of a battery-farmed chicken that never saw a ray of sunlight or single blade of grass in its torturous 18-month lifetime.
Or that your delicious, crispy bacon came from a beautiful, intelligent creature who was shoe-horned into a 3ft by 3ft metal cage. Oh no.
Their big issue, as with anyone under 30, is “saving the planet”.
While us heathens merrily chomp down on our Turkey Twizzlers, tomorrow’s Home Secretary is busy changing the world over her smashed avocado and almond milk latte.
Blissfully unaware that her antioxidant-rich avocado comes with a crippling carbon footprint, one that is contributing heavily to deforestation.
Methane-emitting, cloven-hooved beast
Or that while those magic little nutty fairies have been busy milking almonds, they’ve done so at the expanse of great swathes of land, causing droughts and a biodiversity crisis all of their own.
Man has been hunting animals since time began.
A nicely smoked woolly mammoth was the Big Mac of its day.
The saber-toothed tiger was basically a giant Pepperoni.
And yet, if the yoof of 2023 has its way, we won’t be able to say boo to a goose. Let alone eat one.
Twenty per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds are vegan — i.e. no milk, cheese, honey, fish, eggs or meat — and we should laud them for their principles.
We know cows fart a lot.
We know it ain’t great (and not just for poor Mrs Cow, sharing a barn with that lazy, methane-emitting, cloven-hooved beast).
There is no doubt that meat — beef in particular — makes an immense contribution to the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
But we’ve been farming and eating livestock for more than 10,000 years.
Our lifestyles and diet aren’t just what we shove down our greedy little gullets — it’s about jobs, trade and who we are, our very cultural and religious identities.
If I had my way, battery farming would be banned. It is barbaric.
Times are crippling, but we should all pay extra for our eggs and meat.
Help hard-working British farmers make their farms more sustainable, more profitable and, crucially, more enticing produce-wise.
The answer isn’t no meat. It’s better meat.
Poshos are acting up, but it goes with the role
UNLESS I’m missing a trick, acting is just that: Acting.
A man or woman pretending to be someone else for approximately 90 minutes, for the entertainment of others.
According to actress actorrrr Jessica Barden, though, posho thesps like Emma Corrin have no right playing working-class characters.
“Emma finished playing Diana (in The Crown, inset) and said they wanted to do a ‘gritty’ independent film in Scotland with an ‘outrageous accent’ and red hair. I was, like, why are you allowed to talk like this? How is working-class tourism still OK for posh actors?
“I’m from Yorkshire. I get a script for a gritty working-class woman, and it means I’m playing somebody being abused.”
I mean, I get her point.
For too long, nepo–babies, Footlights graduates and Old Etonians have had their pick of the plum roles.
But by outlawing someone from playing a certain character, we risk putting principle before potential.
The only loser is the viewer.
Salute honest Keira
HOLLYWOOD actresses aren’t, in the main, the easiest beings to relate to.
So well done to Keira Knightley for proving herself a woman’s woman.
One with the heart of a pig and the kidneys of Oliver Reed (RIP).
The star cheerily describes herself as a “thin glutton”, albeit a thin glutton with a truffle dealer and a caviar dealer (the latter, granted, being less relatable).
But whereas there is LITERALLY NOTHING MORE ANNOYING* than a female celeb insisting they eat like a horse while remaining thin-to-gaunt, Keira’s attitude to food seems relatively believable.
Describing herself as “the kind of glutton that has no business being a glutton”, she adds: “This glutton has managed to make a living off her face and fit into very small couture clothing.
“Time will catch up. The Hogarth bloat and red nose will get me at some point, and when it does, I’ll know I deserve every broken vein and gouty toe.”
And from this I take solace.
One of my oldest friends from school – let’s call her Tarah – was 5ft 9in and stick-thin throughout our entire adolescence, up through university and well into her thirties.
She ate like Red Rum, and never, ever exercised, and it INFURIATED me.
Imagine, then, my delight at seeing decided gut-spread upon our last meeting recently. Because, schadenfreude.
* Besides parking fines, influencers and people who stop still in the middle of pavements.
Spying on Bond
COMMON sense has prevailed.
Red-faced publishers at Puffin have been forced into a humiliating U-turn post Roald Dahl censorship-gate, releasing the author’s works in their original, glorious un-PC form.
But not before the “sensitivity readers” got their claws into Ian Fleming’s Bond.
Although, bafflingly, said readers appear to be selectively sensitive.
So, then, references to the “sweet tang of rape”, “blithering women” and the “stubborn disability” of homosexuality remain.
Ah, the sweet tang of rape. Doesn’t it just warm the cockles?
LOTS of fuss over Vernon Kay’s appointment to Radio 2.
By replacing PopMaster stalwart Ken Bruce, who appears to inspire a sort of Braveheart/William Wallace-esque devotion from fans, this is yet another example of rampant ageism within Wogan House. Apparently.
Let’s take a moment, shall we . . .
Now, with the greatest will in the world, this isn’t wireless in crèche form: Scott Mills isn’t bowling up to the mic in his short trousers, Claudia W isn’t skipping rope and Jo Wiley’s not snacking on puréed banana between turns of Celine Dion and the Rolling Stones.
It might also be worth pointing out that when Ken first started his mid-morning Radio 2 show he was . . . 35. Vernon is 49.
Change isn’t always a bad thing – let’s give the young pretender a chance.
Not bad at tall
AS a sidenote, thanks to regular reader Roger for these helpful alternative book titles, ones that will keep even the most sensitive of sensitivity readers happy.
Danny The Champion Of The World – Danielle Took Part In A Global Competition Along With A Group Of His/Her/Their Peers And They All Received An Equal Participation Medal.
The BFG – The Gregarious Gentleman Of Larger Than Average Height.
Gangsta Granny, by David Walliams – A Socially Disadvantaged Person Of Advanced Age And Self-Determined Gender Who Resorts To Criminal Activities Due To Having ADHD And Enduring The Cost-Of-Living Crisis.
Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell – A Non-Caucasian Equine Adventure Set In Less Enlightened Times.
Mr Men, by Roger Hargreaves – A Series Of Whimsical Tales Featuring Male/Female/Non Gender-Specific Imaginary Characters Who May Or May Not Have Entered Into Matrimony/Civil Partnership/Prefer Not To Say.
AS we know, King Charles has a battle on his hands to keep the monarchy alive and kicking.
With republicans ready to kick down the doors at Bucky P at any given moment, and Prince Harry a one-man wrecking ball, the royals are under greater scrutiny than at any time in centuries.
So credit to Charles for bumping up the title of wife Camilla and giving her nominal parity in the Crown stakes.
According to reports, CPB will lose the “Consort” from her title after spring’s Coronation, going simply by Queen Camilla.
Now that’s feminism.
A FEMALE prisoner has warned of the danger of putting transgender inmates in women’s jails after she was sexually assaulted by a paedophile rapist behind bars.
Laura Goldsmith bravely waived her right to anonymity, revealing how she fell prey to vile sex offender Karen White in HMP New Hall in Wakefield, West Yorks.
For all of the umm-ing and ahh-ing from battle-weary MPs, really it’s quite simple.
If the phrase “her penis” is getting bandied about in the penal system, well, then we have a problem.
It’s not just oxymoronic. It’s moronic.