Tallow-ho: UK’s new plastic currency outrages vegans

by WorldTribune Staff, December 1, 2016

If you give a British vegan a new fiver it will likely be considered an insult.

Many vegan Brits are outraged over the new plastic 5 pound notes being circulated throughout the UK. Not because the note features a carnivore (Winston Churchill), but because it contains tallow, which is made from animal fat.

The UK's new fiver contains traces of tallow, which is derived from beef or mutton fat. /Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The UK’s new fiver contains traces of tallow, which is derived from beef or mutton fat. /Joe Giddens/PA Wire

There are currently around 440 million of the new fivers – which translates into a hell of a lot of tallow – in circulation.

A lot of beef-eating Brits are pleased with the new bill which the Bank of England governor described as tough enough to survive “a splash of claret, a flick of cigar ash, the nip of a bulldog and even a spin in the washing machine.”

Vegan Dan Hanks told the London Standard he was thinking about boycotting the bill for “the same reason I don’t wear leather – it would make me uncomfortable using something that has (at least partly) come from animal suffering,” adding, “I’ve tried to stop contributing to animal suffering in all other areas of my life.”

An online petition has emerged, demanding that the Bank of England “cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use.” It’s already gathered more than 70,000 signatures.

The Bank of England has so far declined to officially respond to the outcry.

The nation’s first-ever “plastic” bill was introduced in September as a measure aimed at deterring counterfeiters.

The new fiver is made from polymer, a thin and flexible plastic material. Officials say its robust structure makes it more resistant to dirt and moisture, and so it should last around 2.5 times longer than the paper bill it replaced.

Twitter user Beardy Man Jay had a solution for vegans who are too upset to use the 5 pound note:

“To all #vegans not liking the new £5 notes I’m offering an#exchange I will give u £1 for every new £5 u dont want”