There are valid concerns about conventional breeding, but vegans also have blind spots (âNo meat please, we’re British: now a third of us approve of the vegan diet,â News). Stem cell meat may someday feed richer countries and less conventional livestock like snails, mussels and capybara may also help, but dramatic reductions in impact per head of livestock, chickens, etc. already possible via changes in feed and additives and regenerative methods.
Food security is also crucial. Crops can fail badly, but free markets absurdly punish suppliers if surpluses are produced, land is used for short-term gain, and there is still no defined responsibility for food security. Failure to restore fish stocks could prove suicidal if harvests fail seriously due to climate change, pests and disease.
The whole âeat this, not thatâ approach is backwards; Naive idealism and factory farming apologists are opposing sides of the same counterfeit coin. Better supplies must be the priority, future consumption being based on this.
The use of plants prevents animals from living miserable lives and violent and terrifying deaths. It’s better for the environment and lowers the risk of getting cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
Luckily, giving up on meat, eggs, and dairy has never been easier. Vegan options are plentiful in supermarkets, restaurants, and take out. From plant-based eggs and vegan meat, to dairy-free cheese and ice cream, the choice is vast and growing by the day. Eating vegan is a compassionate choice that stops the pain and can improve your health.
Peta United Kingdom, London N1
Publicly fund political parties
Michael Savage’s article on John Caudwell’s potential withdrawal from his financial support for the Tories because he is disappointed with Boris Johnson begs the question: should someone fund a political party? (“Major Tory donor slams Johnson as new poll shows strong Labor lead”, News).
The idea of ââindividuals or companies influencing politics with money is unpleasant. The main parties should be funded only from public funds so that they are outside the influence of lobbyists and the wealthy. If the rich had money set aside, they might overpay their taxes or contribute to underprivileged sectors of society rather than trying to influence power. The government must benefit all members of society.
Do to others …
If individualists are incapable of a collectivist engagement, then those of us who see this pandemic as a public health problem above all else can adopt their libertarian philosophy (“What philosophy helps us to face the crises that beset us … . ‘us first’ or ‘me first’? “, Comment).
Therefore, I exercise my right not to teach you, your children or your husband or wife or partner who refuses to wear a face mask in class, not to pile the supermarket shelves with the food you want to buy, not to spend my money in the sectors you think are vital for the economy and beneficial for your role of consultant or pension or dividend plan, not to drive your train and any other myriad of roles where I will serve. Good luck all alone.
Dr Michael Sheard
Ingleby Arncliffe, Northallerton
Make good use of coupons
As two of the 500,000 participants in the Covid-19 Infections Survey, led by the Office for National Statistics and the Department of Health and Welfare, my wife and I initially received a week, then once a month Â£ 50 in vouchers (“Infection survey hands out Â£ 210million in vouchers”, News).
By donating an amount equivalent to a donation to an aid agency, we will, during the survey year, have recycled Â£ 1,000 of government money in overseas aid and have so did something to lessen the effect of its funding cut last year.
If everyone in the survey did the same thing, the government would have refunded a quarter of a billion pounds through us. Negative test results for us (so far) have turned into positive results for developing countries.
David Olusoga is absolutely correct that Nigel Farage passed himself off as a complete idiot because of his attack on the RNLI (“Culture warriors came out, only to be defeated by their own ineptitude,” Commentary ), and not for the first time. But let’s not underestimate it. After all, the Conservative Party allowed its ideology to gain the upper hand without needing to fire a shot.
The decline of insects
In David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters’ column on whether to trust statistics (âWhat Questions Should You Ask When Hearing a Data-Based Claim?â Commentary), they cast doubt on the declining number insects, because the researcher only looked for articles on the decline.
I’m afraid I’m even less reliable as my belief in their decline is based on the fact that when we started our holiday on the west coast of Scotland we would come back with the car covered in dead bugs. Now they are barely noticeable. Only one case, but if they decline on the narrow strip between Oban and St Andrews, then they could decline everywhere.
St Andrews, Fife
I have read William Keegan’s missives for many decades and this one surpasses all of them for wit, intelligence, and sheer mischief (“Johnson’s stubborn reign approaches a tragicomic climax”, Business) . Who would have guessed how much the Empress of Blandings could enlighten us on the economic pickle we are currently wallowing in?