back to article Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Professor David Solomon, the inventor of the polymer banknote, has told vegetarians that they're being "stupid" over their opposition to its trace amounts of animal fat. The UK's new plastic notes were introduced earlier this year to replace the UK's battered and disintegrating stocks of paper** £5 notes. However, when the …

  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Holmes

    Not much of a chemist then?

    Can't find a substitute for lard? Stupid, absolutely stupid, Prof.

  2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Unhappy

    120,000 vs 150,000 .... this is very depressing. Or alternatively, it may serve to demonstrate the power of mainstream media.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Or maybe it's that people are more likely to sign something that they think might make a difference? If enough people complain about the tallow they'll find an animal free alternative, it's not like it's fundamental to the money making process.

      See how far complaining about RIPA gets you......

      1. IsJustabloke
        Facepalm

        And yet...

        "Or maybe it's that people are more likely to sign something that they think might make a difference?"

        A petition calling for an end to the Badger Cull, something surely of equal interest to Vegans et al is languishing with barely a fraction of the votes this time waster has garnered.

        This is simply put is virtue signalling and nonsense of the highest order. I wonder how many of them were wearing leather shoes as they clicked the "sign petition" button.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: And yet...

          Virtue signalling is nonsense of the highest order.

          Triggered much?

        2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: And yet...

          I wonder how many of them were wearing leather shoes as they clicked the "sign petition" button.

          And I wonder if any of the virtue-signalers who were wearing plastic shoes had taken the trouble to find out if tallow was used in the manufacture of their footwear.

        3. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: And yet...

          >A petition calling for an end to the Badger Cull, something surely of equal interest to Vegans et al is languishing with barely a fraction of the votes this time waster has garnered.

          There hasn't been a widespread badger cull, only a trial of one. A smart badger-hugger will do nothing to oppose the trial because:

          - 1, The trial was found to be not very good at killing badgers

          - 2, killing badgers only results in a badger vacuum, quickly filled by more badgers moving into the now-vacant territory. If badgers are eventually found to be vectors for bovine TB, having lots of badgers moving across the country would only result in more cattle with TB.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And yet...

            killing badgers only results in a badger vacuum

            I have trouble picturing a badger vacuum. Is that a really small vacuum cleaner, or a sort of empty cloud only visible due to its cartoon-alike badger outline?

            :)

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: And yet...

              I have trouble picturing a badger vacuum. Is that a really small vacuum cleaner

              You mean, in a "101 Uses For A Dead Badger" sense?

              Thank you for the Friday afternoon chuckle.

              (sidenote: in a spirit of whimsy, I did an image search for "badger vacuum". My surprise at the fact that google was ready to auto-complete it as soon as I typed "badger v_" turned to realization that it's the name of a real company, who apparently do excavation hydrovac services for the pipeline industry. The More You Know...)

          2. RDW
            Thumb Up

            Re: And yet...

            Badger Vacuum is now the name of my new band.

        4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: And yet...

          In other news there are at least 150k people who have so little to occupy them that they have enough spare time to get outraged over trace amounts of tallow used in polymer manufacturing.

          The ship has sailed, and the cow is long dead, folks. Tallow is used because it's cheap, readily available and it does the job. You're not going to change that.

          Instead of protesting against this cause, how about you go find something useful to do, like, oh, I don't know, donate some of those foul, tallow-infested banknotes to your local food bank, women's shelter or some equally deserving organization of your choice?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And yet...

          "A petition calling for an end to the Badger Cull, something surely of equal interest to Vegans et al is languishing with barely a fraction of the votes this time waster has garnered."

          Obviously vegans hate Badgers.....probably because they can't feel smug saying they've given up eating Badger Burgers....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >See how far complaining about RIPA gets you......

        Apart from the (technologically unavoidable) vellum and squid ink thing, RIPA is vegan friendly - it might even save a few cows given the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will now be able to monitor internet usage and get out in front of cattle mutilators and bull botherers.

    2. FuzzyWuzzys

      Or that saving the "lickle fluffy bunnies" is a more media friendly topic to have a whinge about than all that "boring geeky techno crap" that only IT people whinge about.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Perhaps we just need to point out that the RIPA contains traces of beef.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          RIPA meatiness

          > Perhaps we just need to point out that the RIPA contains traces of beef.

          perhaps not beefy, but I suspect plenty of pork may be involved when it comes to contracts

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: perhaps not beefy...

            Plenty of bull in it.

        2. The Vociferous Time Waster

          Re:

          Well it's written on vellum

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Re:

            Olden day stuff is vegan-OK, because it's more natural.

            Holding and killing animals at home is better.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Perhaps we just need to point out that the RIPA contains traces of beef."

          And huge amounts of bullshit.

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Not much of a chemist then?

      Sure. we can find a substitute.

      You want to be responsible for doing all the materials tests all over again, taking months if not years, and pay for it from your tax?

      You want to be responsible if the fivers start falling apart after "only" five years?

      You want to be responsible for whatever media comeback when THAT material is less environmentally friendly than even the cow-notes?

      You want to be responsible for the price difference in materials (tallow is basically a waste product, isn't it, and 23kg for ALL the notes isn't going to cost you much)?

      You want to be responsible for when the dye or security feature has to be changed because it's not compatible with whatever substitute, and so on?

      It's not just a case of "use something else", such things are planned years in advance because that money has to last 20-30 years in the field without any kind of maintenance.

      1. You aint sin me, roit
        Trollface

        Re: Not much of a chemist then?

        Imagine the fallout if someone suggested that any synthetic replacement might need to have undergone animal testing before approval...

        At least it's only tallow. Things might have got tasty if it had been bacon!

        1. Steve Evans

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          What if the tallow was obtained from an animal which had died happily of old age. Surely then it's just perfectly green recycling?

          I guess it could also be extracted from various human limbs certain religions deem it acceptable to hack off for various transgressions. I wonder if Saudi Arabia has thought about a possible export market?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          But I thought ALL UK banknotes contained traces of PORK fat.

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Not much of a chemist then?

        From: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/theres-a-minute-amount-of-rendered-animal-fat-in-canadas-banknotes-bank-of-canada-confirms

        >>The polymer in virtually all of the world’s plastic bills is made by a single Australian company, Innovia Security.

        Innovia are the makers of Guardian, a substrate used to manufacture the polymer currency of 24 countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and New Zealand.

        Tallow does not appear to be a stand-alone or critical ingredient in Guardian, but the by-product got into the substrate because it is used in processing by Innovia’s resin suppliers.<<

        So it's in there accidentally by the sound of it. As such probably not going to involve masses of retesting to take it out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          So it's in there accidentally by the sound of it. As such probably not going to involve masses of retesting to take it out.

          Well, no, because it's in there for a reason. The raw material is turned into pellets which facilitates transport and processing, the slight presence of tallow is there to make all of that easier. That means that removal is out of the question, and attempts to replacing it bring you straight back to the original challenge: finding something better that has less overall impact.

          Now for the fun part: I too wonder how long it takes for those loony eco-warriers to work out in what other products these raw materials are used, and which thus contain a light dusting of cow. That could make for an interesting Christmas, methinks..

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            "The raw material is turned into pellets which facilitates transport and processing, the slight presence of tallow is there to make all of that easier."

            But why specifically tallow? Who not something vegetable based like a shortening?

            1. Purple-Stater

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              "But why specifically tallow? Who not something vegetable based like a shortening?"

              Amongst other properties, tallow is a solid at a fairly high temperature, with a melting point of approx. 42C (107F). In the realm of transport and processing I could see that being a factor.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Not much of a chemist then?

                Shortening can top that, melting around 47C (~118F), so I doubt that's the reason. I will admit there could be other factors, though. I'm just trying to learn specifically which.

                1. moiety

                  Re: Not much of a chemist then?

                  Easy solution - don't lick any fivers if you're a veggie.

                2. Jonathan Richards 1
                  Boffin

                  Re: Not much of a chemist then?

                  > could be other factors

                  Tallow is almost exclusively saturated fat, so it won't oxidise and become adhesive as partially unsaturated vegetable oils will - for an experiment, try treating your cricket bat with tallow, and compare with the traditional linseed oil! I'm thinking that the tiny quantities of tallow involved must be about ensuring the free-flow characteristics of the base polymer pellets. In a similar way, SmartiesTM are polished with a waxy substance to stop the sugar coatings from sticking together.

                  A little trivial research seems to indicate that tallow is cleaved to produce materials for soap manufacture in quite large quantities: washing one's hands is likely to generate much more contact with molecules that were once part of a cow than is handling a new fiver.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              But why specifically tallow? Who not something vegetable based like a shortening?

              Because there is further processing involved. These pellets get heated, mixed with colours and then injection moulded or, I suspect, rolled into sheets of some description. I don't think that tallow was just as random a "let's just take what can really annoy people" choice as people make it out to be - a production process requires many tries until you have the right fit for chemical and mechanical properties against costs.

              You can't just literall throw something else in that mix because you are dealing with a LOT of variables - you change one and you get a whole chain reaction of other things you may need to adjust - and some may create worse problems from a vegan and ecological perspective.

              I worked in plastic production (for my sins I have an exceptional colour vision), and even replacing colours with versions that are less of a health hazard or work better with fireproofing additives (in cars) is a swine - when you start to play with things that directly influence the chemical balance of the output it gets several shades harder.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Not much of a chemist then?

                "These pellets get heated, mixed with colours and then injection moulded or, I suspect, rolled into sheets of some description."

                IIRC from an episode of How It's Made or a similar program, they use air to blow a huge balloon-like structure 3 or 4 stories high of clear plastic in a continuous manufacturing process (so I suppose it must be a cylinder rather than a balloon) Quite impressive from what I remember, but no, not rolled into sheets to make money.

                1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                  Re: not rolled into sheets to make money.

                  Disappointed by this revelation :(

                  They will have to stop calling it dough then

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              Vegetable shortening usually contains hydrogenated palm oil.

              The palm oil industry cuts down hundreds of acres of rain forest in Indonesia and Malaysia to plant rows of stubby oil palms. In the process they kill any number of wild animals including endangered primates. and well as the flora.

              Half a cow? They're worth it.

            4. Boo Radley

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              But think of all those poor innocent vegetables :-(

          2. Mike 125

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            @AC

            >>I too wonder how long it takes for those loony eco-warriers to work out

            You sound like a Daily Mail reader from, let's say, the 1980s. Things have moved on. Someone screwed up by not foreseeing this mess. Yes, they screwed up.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              >>I too wonder how long it takes for those loony eco-warriers to work out

              >You sound like a Daily Mail reader from, let's say, the 1980s

              Look, I was brought up to have respect for the environment (and none at all for the Daily Heil), but I have a rational outlook and a fair grounding in science. There are lunatics who profess to be environmentalists, just as there are lunatics who are climate change deniers. Indeed, one can feel that it is lunatic greenies who do more harm to the good fight than right-wingers, because they make it easier for Joe public to dismiss very real concerns as hysteria.

              It would be best if dreadlocked crusties shut the hell up, and left the airwaves clear for people like David Attenborough and scientists to make clear, well-argued points.

              Instead, we've had Greenpeace activists set fire to a GM research nursery in Australia (thus spreading GM plant matter far afield, the opposite of their intent), and the moratorium on nuclear power in Germany.

        2. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          But would then make the UK use a different criteria / formulation to ALL THE OTHER 23 COUNTRIES which haven't had a problem.

          That costs. Because it costs the company to refine, eliminate and test without that element which they haven't needed to for everyone else.

          1. Piro

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            Not really, found an article that says the Scottish ones don't contain tallow: http://theukbulletin.com/2016/12/01/scottish-polymer-bank-notes-are-vegan-friendly/

            1. d3vy Silver badge

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              @Piro.

              "Not really, found an article that says the Scottish ones don't contain tallow: http://theukbulletin.com/2016/12/01/scottish-polymer-bank-notes-are-vegan-friendly/"

              They retracted that statement not long after making it...

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-38169194

            2. ToddR

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              Perfect then all vegans can f**k off to Scotland and stay in the EU triple win

            3. David Neil

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              That is out of date and it has been confirmed they do

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-38169194

        3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          If it's in there accidentally it's possible the machine that makes the pellets uses a tallow based lubricant. That could be because a lubricant with a different base might have a negative reaction with the polymer, they save a nickel, or any number of other reasons like better yield, less maintenance, etc. Either way it's all speculation at this point and most importantly they've already been made so simply tossing them in the bin won't make the animal the tallow came from any better off.

          I wonder if they are using E120 dye in those bills.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            I wonder if they are using E120 dye in those bills.

            I hope not - I react quite badly to cochineal.. (irony is, I don't react at all the the synthetic colours - just the one made from ground-up beetles..)

      3. Mike 125

        Re: Not much of a chemist then?

        @Lee D

        >>because that money has to last 20-30 years in the field without any kind of maintenance.

        Where did get those lifetimes? They are crazily optimistic.

        How long does money last? That depends on the denomination of the note. A $1 bill lasts 18 months; $5 bill, two years; $10 bill, three years; $20 bill, four years; and $50 and $100 bills, nine years. Bills that get worn out from everyday use are taken out of circulation and replaced.

        1. Darryl

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          Crazily optimistic for paper money, yes, but one of the benefits of polymer is they expect over double the lifetime out in the wild, so 50s and 100s could easily be out and about for 25 years

          1. Uffish

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            If I order some fish and chips and eat a few of the chips whilst waiting to pay, the notes I pull out of my wallet and hand over are likely to end up carrying more than trace amounts of oil, and my preference is for chippies that use beef dripping. I would imagine that cotton/linen notes would soak up more oil than plastic notes.

          2. Mike 137 Bronze badge

            lifetimes and other matters

            the new fivers are already developing permanent sharp creases, as the material seems to be unable to relax after being folded. This could well shorten their effective life. Also,more than one shopkeeper and a bank teller have all told me they're difficult to count quickly because they don't pick up on the fingers like paper.

            1. KroSha

              Re: lifetimes and other matters

              The guy who sold me my bacon roll this morning complained that they stick together. Maybe a bit more grease needed?

        2. stu 4

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          Also, if your talking about USA dollars - they are the worst paper currency I've ever used, with perhaps the exception of Egyptian.

          They appear to have been printed on a 1970s printing press on the cheapest paper known to man, and then left in circulation so long I imagine their cocaine percentage is higher than paper on the most part. dreadful stuff.

          And then when you finally had a redesign, the only thing you did was add colour!! I mean WTF.

          1. Glenturret Single Malt

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            The most annoying thing about US banknotes is that they are all the same size.

          2. kraut

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            The one problem with US dollars is that they're all the same colour.

            The two problem with US dollars is that they're all the same colour and the same size.

            The three.... sod it, bring on the cushions.

        3. Marshalltown

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          US currency is paper not polymer.

      4. Phil Lord

        Re: Not much of a chemist then?

        Yes.

        They made a mistake, including a trace ingredient which is unnecessary, and which was always going to cause problems for a significant percentage of the population. So, they have to remove it.

        Bottom line, your idea that they have to redo all of the testing is rather implausible. If the amount of tallow is so low, it's not likely to be a critical component, or have a critical impact. Tallow is pretty much just fat; it's not a specialist compound.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          Tallow is pretty much just fat; it's not a specialist compound.

          Oh, so I guess for you oil is just oil too? If you don't bother to check which oil you put in your car you may discover that some oils don't like it cold, some don't lubricate when it's really hot, some don't even belong in your engine but in your brakes and, for instance, olive oil doesn't suit any of those categories.

          It's not "just" tallow - it's a very specific compound, chosen for very good technical reasons. You can't just swap that out with anything else without addressing the elements that made it the only choice. It is quite possible (and likely) that any alternative would have had a more negative impact on environment, cost or even publicity if it had become known. I reject the implied suggestion that the people who made those decisions don't know what they're doing.

          To be honest, to me it's all a bit too much of a tea cup weather front - it's too much Trump-alike looking for problems where there aren't any, just to draw attention. We're talking about minuscule percentages of a product that would otherwise be wasted and to be frank, if that sort of energy would have been spent on finding better homes for animals it would have made more of a difference than this pathetic nitpicking. But that's just my opinion.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not much of a chemist then?

          your idea that they have to redo all of the testing is rather implausible. If the amount of tallow is so low, it's not likely to be a critical component, or have a critical impact.

          I tell you what. We'll do a run of polymer without the tallow, and you get to stand near the production line and pray we don't have a dust leak or a dodgy earth cable (because, you know, you've already removed one line of defence). Ditto for packing it, and for extra fun we won't use standard bulk transport but bag it up in 25kg bags which I'll let you stack. You will get zapped by every bag you touch, and I suspect that after an 8 hour shift you would probably not even notice if someone tasered you.

          Don't worry. I'll keep a fire extinguisher ready. Your hair will need it.

          Use your brain: even small amounts of tallow cost money. It needs to be sampled, transported, certified, stored, unpacked (etc etc), so it would have been left out if it wasn't really essential. This produced by a business, not a charity.

          Furthermore, there is really no direct correlation between how much you use of something and how important it is or how much impact it may have. Ask anyone who suffers from a nut allergy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not much of a chemist then?

            "Furthermore, there is really no direct correlation between how much you use of something and how important it is or how much impact it may have. Ask anyone who suffers from a nut allergy."

            But what about people like the Hindus who view cows as sacred and subject to better treatment than themselves and who also view killing of any kind as wrong because you could be killing a reincarnated relative?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              But what about people like the Hindus who view cows as sacred and subject to better treatment than themselves and who also view killing of any kind as wrong because you could be killing a reincarnated relative?

              If they're anywhere like my relatives I'd have no objection to have them served up with a nice pepper saus and some crispy fries and their remains be present in banknotes. They love money more than people anyway.

              /sarcasm

            2. kraut

              Re: Not much of a chemist then?

              Are you suggesting all government decisions should try to appease all bronze age superstitions across the globe?

    4. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      @Kozicki

      What depresses me is that I pay a fortune in tax for what passes for the education of those people.

      Under the PST system of taxation:

      1. The rich would pay for defence and foreign policy.

      2. The middle classes would pay for the police.

      3. The working classes would pay for social security.

      Education would be paid for by private fees and charitable endowments.

      That way each class pays tax for the things it needs most.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Under the PST system of taxation:

        1. The rich would pay for defence and foreign policy.

        By maintaining their own estates and armies.

        2. The middle classes would pay for the police.

        By having private security guards for their homes.

        3. The working classes would pay for social security.

        It's called "farming".

        Education would be paid for by private fees and charitable endowments.

        But who would need it, given the system as above?

    5. John Sanders
      Big Brother

      @Bronek Kozicki

      >>120,000 vs 150,000 .... this is very depressing. Or alternatively, it may serve to demonstrate the power of mainstream media.

      Do not worry mainstream media is going the way of the Dodo, their bias is not bias anymore, it is confirmed partisanship and activism.

    6. fruitoftheloon
      Stop

      @Hplasm: Re: Not much of a chemist then?

      Hplasm,

      so what is your suggestion then?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: @Hplasm: Not much of a chemist then?

        "Hplasm,

        so what is your suggestion then?"

        This.

        "So it's in there accidentally by the sound of it. As such probably not going to involve masses of retesting to take it out."

    7. rototype

      I just wonder...

      ... How many Daily Mail readers that 120,000 included

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not much of a chemist then?

      There is no substitute for lard (or dripping for that matter) and as it's tallow it's more like dripping. Lard comes from pigs not cows.

    9. Blank Reg

      It's most likely stearic acid, rather than actual tallow being used, but they both come from cows.

      If you want to cause a real uproar, start pointing out how ubiquitous Stearic acid is in all kinds of consumer products. It's used in all kinds of plastics processing (shopping bags for example) as well use numerous cosmetics.

      It's cheap, readily available and benign, no need for a substitute.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It's most likely stearic acid, rather than actual tallow being used, but they both come from cows."

        It's in all their nice calming & relaxing candles too, imagine all the veggies breathing in vaporised cow.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why tallow, simple, they went "this does the job, lets use this"

          That was I expect the long and short of it, maybe after extensive tests and searching for particular properties none of which were "will crazy fucking whack jobs lose their titties over this?"

          Though it could start a rather comical realisation of how many things do use trace bits of shit people have weird religious dedication too.

          I mean, I suspect lost of the food that vegematarians eat is grown and harvested by child labour as it tends to come from not so great off economic nations.

    10. NoneSuch Silver badge
      FAIL

      And yet

      Every single veg-head is a walking talking animal full of 100% meat.

      Hope that does not keep them awake at night.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And yet

        First World problem.

        1. kraut

          Re: And yet

          Indeed, although parts of the 2nd world *cough* India *cough* are rather touchy about using bits of cow, too.

          And I imagine various other parts of the world would get quite upset at finding traces of pork in their money, too.

    11. e^iπ+1=0

      Re: Not much of a chemist then?

      Surely those who are against handling tallow based payment methods could use a combination of non-cash payments and coins?

      Problem solved!

  3. A K Stiles

    Pandora's box?

    Now that there's huge outrage about the animal content of plastic fivers, are we going to see a rash of 'news' stories about stuff that people have been using for years suddenly being discovered to also contain animal by-products?

    How do vegans / principle-based veggies feel about clothing made from wool, or stuff like hand-cream which contains lanolin?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pandora's box?

      The few veggies I know/knew seemed to be fully aware of those and other issues, and had found substitutes. Apart from one person who could not imagine wearing anything other than doc martins.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: Pandora's box?

        " Apart from one person who could not imagine wearing anything other than doc martins."

        Apparently there are vegan Doc Martins.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Pandora's box?

        "..Apart from one person who could not imagine wearing anything other than doc martins."

        You do know DMs have been available in Veg friendly for years?

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Pandora's box?

          "You do know DMs have been available in Veg friendly for years?"

          That may be so, but how do vegans square that away... buying vegan friendly footwear from a company that makes the vast majority of its profit turning animals into shoes?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pandora's box?

            and presumably in the same factories introducing the potential for cross-contamination, especially if its levels of under 100 parts per million that are causing the nutters to get vocal over the fivers.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Pandora's box?

      Oh, wow! No, I think I speak for all of us vegetarians when I say we've never considered that animal products could be used for anything other than food or money.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pandora's box?

      Not sure that is a good point to make. Wool naturally falls from sheep and shearing just accelerates that process and is beneficial as the result is more comfortable (obvious the process the sheep go through is a little distressing, but done well most of them seem to bleat quite merrily afterwards.

      It's a bit like using human hair after a haircut, no animal died to use it.

      Some of the more headstrong vegans may feel we have no right to remove the wool or that buying it supports the exploitation of sheep products so helps the overall industry, but many don't and no "principle-based" vegetarian will care, I would assume.

      1. cloth

        Re: Pandora's box?

        Speaking as one who is married to a vegan she is more concerned about the animal's welfare as a whole. Think e.g. dipping in chemicals, confined environments, slaughtered at an early age, stress at any one of those stages.

        Another comment is oft heard coming from the less well educated in this field (a major majority of people ) - the "animals dead anyway" - clearly, not the point !

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Pandora's box?

          If she thinks "dipping in chemicals" is a bad thing for sheep, I'd love to give her a detailed description of fly strike.

          But I take her point...

        2. VinceH Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Pandora's box?

          "Another comment is oft heard coming from the less well educated in this field (a major majority of people ) - the "animals dead anyway" - clearly, not the point !"

          Are you referring to written statements from such people? If not, how on Earth can you be sure they're not pronouncing "animals" with an apostrophe?

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Pandora's box?

          Think e.g. dipping in chemicals, confined environments, slaughtered at an early age, stress at any one of those stages.

          Why bring economy-class air travel into it?

        4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Pandora's box?

          " (a major majority of people )" as spoken by a modern Major General.

        5. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          @cloth: Re: Pandora's box?

          Dear Cloth,

          I am very well educated thank you very much (I like books, they're great!)

          And at the moment, "they will be dying anyway", it might be nicer if they didn't (for ones' personal view of 'nicer' of course), but die they do...

          Cheers,

          Jay [former veggie, 'twas the bacon that done it']

        6. N000dles
          Facepalm

          Re: Pandora's box?

          "Another comment is oft heard coming from the less well educated in this field (a major majority of people ) - the "animals dead anyway" - clearly, not the point !"

          And here lies the hypocrisy in those who are demanding a vegetable based alternative. The paddock where the vegetable based alternative is grown has already been cleared and the animals living there removed or killed. What is more ethical? Finding a use for what is effectively a waste product or roasting Orang-utans in land clearing to make way for a Palm Oil plantation. Sure, there is such a thing as sustainable Palm Oil but these are just the plantations that got into the game early and animals have already paid the price for people to get that warm and fuzzy feeling they're doing the right thing..

        7. kraut

          Re: Pandora's box?

          Surely, sheep dips are supposed to protect the sheep from diseases? So, while unpleasant, temporarily, they are designed(*) to be beneficial to the sheep.

          Another thing I wonder about w.r. to vegans: Why would anyone keep pigs?

          * I'll grant they might not be; and organophosphates are certainly not good for the farmer, but the principle stands.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Pandora's box?

        I thought they just avoided using soap and stuff.

        *Kidding!*

      3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Pandora's box?

        Not sure that is a good point to make. Wool naturally falls from sheep and shearing just accelerates that process and is beneficial as the result is more comfortable (obvious the process the sheep go through is a little distressing, but done well most of them seem to bleat quite merrily afterwards.

        But in our dream vegan world, there wouldn't be any sheep for the wool to fall naturally from. Why waste valuable lentil-growing land to graze sheep, just to get a crop of wool? Ditto, no cows, chickens or pigs. I was going to say, 'apart from a few in a zoo', but of course there are no zoos in Vegtopia. You might get the odd wild Jersey or boar wandering the Northern forests, but that's it.

        Veggie is fine as a lifestyle, and probably pretty healthy. But munching on the occasional bit of naturally-reared animal does help to keep a living countryside. I rather like hearing the local sheep, cows and horses chatting when I'm dozing off to sleep.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Pandora's box?

          @Pen-y-gors

          "I rather like hearing the local sheep, cows and horses chatting when I'm dozing off to sleep."

          "You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs"

        2. Dazed and Confused

          Re: Pandora's box?

          > Why waste valuable lentil-growing land to graze sheep

          Coz sheep will graze on land you can't grow lentils on. Ever tried growing crops on the side of a mountain without cutting terraces?

      4. Nosher

        Re: Pandora's box?

        The era when anyone made vast amounts of money thanks to the wool trade has long passed, and whilst it's true that wool might naturally fall from sheep, I suspect you would find that harvesting it by picking it out of hedgerows would not be economically viable (or would mean £500 sweaters). Wool is now financially a very minor part of the sheep-rearing business and, like milk and leather, is strictly a by-product of the meat industry.

      5. Mr Commenty McComentface
        Flame

        Re: Pandora's box?

        "Not sure that is a good point to make. Wool naturally falls from sheep and shearing just accelerates that process and is beneficial as the result is more comfortable (obvious the process the sheep go through is a little distressing, but done well most of them seem to bleat quite merrily afterwards."

        Errrr..... by that logic, the cow would die naturally anyway, we just accelerated that.

        Not sure that's the strongest debating point you could have picked, but I kinda get where you are coming from

        I have to say, I find it grossly depressing and offensive, that given the shit going on in this world, that THIS is what gets people upset. They probably f!"£$~@ inhale more "animal based byproducts" walking into the damn supermarket than they get from touching a fiver. Grow the f**k up and take a more reasonable, balanced view of the world. I do not believe the Human Race could possibly survive without farming and eating animals (how we treat them, whole different argument), so animal by-products are forever going to be a "thing". Live with it and stop expecting the significant majority to bow in homage to your own personal fetishes!!!

        Yes I know that's insensitive, yes, I know some Religions have issues with it, but seriously people, get over yourselves.

    4. g e

      Re: Pandora's box?

      And diabetics.... wasn't insulin originally derived from pigs, despite now being synthetically produced?

      May have dreamt that, unsure...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pandora's box?

        Think it was sheep originally, or just their pancreas,but do believe that they use pigs. Bacon flavoured insulin????

        On a more serious note, I think they still do make the "natural" ones for patients that can't use the synthetic one, but I think it's a small number.

        *Not a diabetic, or a health care provider - just married to a diabetic!"

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Pandora's box?

          Think it was sheep originally,

          I believe the original insulin extracts were done from horses. Pigs, cows and even fish have been used too. Each of them is similar, but not identical to human insulin and each has their own set of problems.

          Nowadays, a lot of it is made by recombitant DNA tweaking of bacteria (including the human insulin-producing gene in a bacteria genome so that one of the waste products that it produces is insulin). First done in the early 80s.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Pandora's box?

        And diabetics.... wasn't insulin originally derived from pigs

        Very few diabetics need insulin (all T1's need it and a small proportion of T2's - since T2 diabetes affects 90% of diabetics the vast majority control it will diet and/or tablets).

        I take a synthesised extract of French Lilac for mine (commonly called Metformin or Metfartin' by those who take a lot of it..) mixed with a glitazone-class drug to improve efficacy.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pandora's box?

        >And diabetics.... wasn't insulin originally derived from pigs, despite now being synthetically produced?

        With mixed results - synthetic insulin (actually sold as 'Human Insulin' in one of the greatest triumphs of 20th century medical marketing) doesn't work for everyone so natural animal insulins are still widely used. Fortunately many 1000's of vegans now donate actual human insulin to prevent exploitation of animals and allow diabetics who would otherwise die to live normal lives.*

        * I may have made the last sentence up.

      4. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Pandora's box?

        No, you're right, insulin given to patients was originally extracted from pig pancreas. Now it's mostly produced by genetically engineered bacteria (GMOs, that is. Oh noes!)

    5. Martin H Watson

      Re: Pandora's box?

      RASH!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pandora's box?

      How do vegans / principle-based veggies feel about clothing made from wool, or stuff like hand-cream which contains lanolin?

      And have they tested coins that have been in circulation fopr 30-odd years to see how much animal fat they've picked up over that time?

      1. Swiss Anton

        Re: Pandora's box?

        Any coin that contains some recycled metal will probably have a trace amount of metal that was mined by miners who used tallow candles.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pandora's box?

      "How do vegans / principle-based veggies feel about clothing made from wool, or stuff like hand-cream which contains lanolin?"

      Given they won't touch nonhuman milk or eggs, both of which issue naturally and non-fatally from animals, they probably avoid them anyway and stick to all plant-based products. I think the trickiest part for them is maintaining B12 supplies since this is best done by eating ruminants (not an option here) and therefore have to rely on bacterial fermentation processes (the only other way to get it).

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pandora's box?

      I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box, though...

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Pint

        @AC: Re: Pandora's box?

        Rhys,

        very good, like it a lot, have one on me!

        Jay

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pandora's box?

        I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box, though...

        Probably just as well. If she'd opened it for you who knows what you'd have got.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Pandora's box?

        I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box, though...

        Consider yourself lucky... nasty and evil things were hidden in it. At least according to those who did see it.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Pandora's box?

        "I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box, though..."

        Is that you Adrian?

      5. kraut

        Re: Pandora's box?

        There should be an exam on vague familiarity with mythology before you're allowed to give your children mythological names.

        I have a friend who's called Cassandra...she doesn't talk about doom. Much. More since the referendum, TBF.

    9. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Pandora's box?

      > How do vegans / principle-based veggies feel about clothing made from wool, or stuff like hand-cream which contains lanolin?

      If you don't wash the wools in harmful detergents before spinning and knitting the wool then you'll find the natural lanolin in the clothes you wear keep your hands beautifully soft.

      On the other hand, my herdwick jumper is pretty scratchy so less soft hands might be a benefit.

  4. Tim Hughes

    Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

    Because I would sign it in a flash. There is so much more important shit to be worrying about.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

      Ditto

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

        There are petitions for all sorts of unimportant issues- lets TPTB point and say how trivial they all are...

    2. John Sanders
      Big Brother

      Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

      @Tim Hughes

      >> Because I would sign it in a flash. There is so much more important shit to be worrying about.

      But, but, but... meh feelinz!

      It is all about virtue signaling, never forget that, they need to show everybody how much better people they are than the rest of us.

      1. acid andy

        Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

        @John Sanders

        "It is all about virtue signaling, never forget that, they need to show everybody how much better people they are than the rest of us."

        Oh really? There was me thinking that being vegan usually has nothing to do with other people's perceptions and everything to do with reducing the unnecessary suffering and premature (often unpleasant) deaths of other species that cannot speak up for themselves.

        Ironically, you seem to be the one out to show everybody something. By criticizing the vegans, aren't you trying to show everybody that you're a better person than they are (and yes, I'm aware you could apply a similar argument to my own post)?

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

      Because I would sign it in a flash.

      So start it. I'll sign.

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

      @ Tim Hughes

      I would be surprised if there was one. Petitions are for people who feel something needs to change and want to represent this feeling by weight in numbers. Unfortunately this leads to a few people who care about something being visible while the other opinions are not voiced (e.g. its a non-topic).

      I do wonder how many of these snowflakes are the ones crying over brexit (I know of a few of these vegans) which was a democratic vote of majority wins with a clear answer. I do wonder how these people cope in the real world where not everything goes their way. Beyond their incessant complaining that is.

    5. beerfuelled

      Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

      I did start one yesterday because this whole thing is a farce. Although I feel that petitions themselves are pretty rubbish tools - so, a petition has 150,000 signatures. There are 64 million people in the UK. What do the other 99.8% of the population think? A petition tells you nothing because you don't know a) how many people have seen it, and b) how many of those people oppose it or how many don't care. Of course a petition with 32 million (genuine) signatures might be a different matter.

      Anyway, here it is: https://www.change.org/p/bank-of-england-keep-using-tallow-to-produce-polymer-bank-notes

      1. Trainee grumpy old ****
        Facepalm

        Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

        >> I did start one yesterday because this whole thing is a farce.....

        And at least one person appears to have signed the petition while holding a contrary opinion.

      2. James O'Shea

        Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

        I have signed up for the petition.

      3. Jonathan Richards 1

        Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

        I just signed up at the beerfuelled petition.

        C'mon guys! There's over 200 comments on this El Reg story, and only fifty-odd signups, so far!

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Is there a petition to insist that we DON'T change the new £5 note?

          signed

  5. sabroni Silver badge
    WTF?

    Considering it's such a tiny amount

    Why is it so tricky to change?

    1. thesykes

      Re: Considering it's such a tiny amount

      Perhaps because millions of the things have been produced and are now in circulation. Without a total re-design of the note, making it easy to spot which is which, how would anybody know which ones were full fat fivers and which were not?

      Now excuse me while I go dip a few tenners in some bacon fat.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Considering it's such a tiny amount

      "Tiny" doesn't mean "insignificant". 100ppm tallow might be enough to make a significant change to the material's properties. After all, 100ppm Hydrogen Cyanide will probably kill you...

    3. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: Considering it's such a tiny amount

      > Why is it so tricky to change?

      Because it's introduced way back up the supply chain. Bank of England buys the plastic unprinted web from Innovia, Innovia buys the base plastics from one or more polymer producers, one or more polymer producers use or produce plastic pellets which are kept free-flowing by trace amounts of tallow.

  6. Doc Ock

    Let's have a referendum:

    Fivexit

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly people

    Can't work out that this is going to be a problem? Really?

    I mean, I just ate a kitten burger, no really, but I wouldn't expect your average lolcat lover to appreciate it, which is why I'm posting AC. People get unduly sentimental when cute furry animals are dying for things. If it bothers you that humans are irrational then it shouldn't. I'm sure you like or dislike something that makes no sense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silly people

      Veganism is about all animals, not just the cute ones.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Veganism

        I thought it was about grossly excessive levels of bureaucracy designed to hinder, infuriate and depersonalise all gregarious, sentient lifeforms throughout the galaxy. And writing bad poetry.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Veganism

          "...And writing bad poetry."

          Don't! He'll come along and start spouting off about how good WinX is, and how it contains no tallow...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Silly people

        Veganism is about all animals, not just the cute ones.

        Maybe you don't have animal blood on your hands, but life itself is a competition for resources and the chance to breed.

        My burger means a cow got to breed, have offspring, and live in relative comfort and safety, if for a short time. Your veggie burger denied any cows life, and by you eating the veggie burger, you denied that food to either cows or other organisms. As for "not just the cute ones", I doubt that vegans can avoid treading on ants, nor are they happy to cohabit with rats.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Silly people

          "...nor are they happy to cohabit with rats."

          Lots of people have pet rats.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Silly people

          "My burger means a cow got to breed, have offspring, and live in relative comfort and safety, if for a short time. Your veggie burger denied any cows life, and by you eating the veggie burger, you denied that food to either cows or other organisms. As for "not just the cute ones", I doubt that vegans can avoid treading on ants, nor are they happy to cohabit with rats."

          Why don't vegans ever consider the feelings of the plants and vegetation they eat? What if someone were to establish an organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants and Vegetation?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Silly people

            "What if someone were to establish an organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants and Vegetation?"

            With Prince Charles as the honorary president?

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Silly people

            charles 9

            Absolutely, just because you can't hear a carrot scream......

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Silly people

        Oh, I would never eat a non-cute animal. I'm part of the customer base that has encouraged the growth in zebra meat sales in the UK. Venison too, knowing I'm eating Bambi's mother just makes the meat sweeter.

        Shame I can't get kitten in the UK, but I travel abroad often enough.

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Silly people

          "Shame I can't get kitten in the UK, but I travel abroad often enough."

          You can. Just don't tell anyone - especially not the neighbours who might have owned the kitten.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Silly people

            Plagued by neighbors' cats where we live, so come round. Whatever you can catch you can keep!

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Silly people

            Ref: Kittens and Cats... You just have to know where to look.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn2Sa5UGxK8

        2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: Silly people

          Shame I can't get kitten in the UK ...

          Sure about that ?

      4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Silly people

        Veganism is about all animals, not just the cute ones.

        Cockroaches? Mosquitoes? Krill? Protozoa? Obviously you wouldn't want to eat them, but what would be your response to banknotes lubricated with protozoa?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Silly people

          What are you talking about? Krill are adorable!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Silly people

          what would be your response to banknotes lubricated with protozoa?

          Never mind the first image that called up (which has little to do with protozoa), but the second one - which came from a few minutes examining just what lives on money (notes and coins). It's enough to make you wear gloves or convert you to contactless credit card (terminal buttons are shockingly filthy too). Ugh.

          Thankfully a lot of alcohol either sterilises it, or makes you care less :).

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Silly people

      @AC

      "I mean, I just ate a kitten burger, no really

      You are a Tory Cabinet Minister and I claim my £5.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Silly people

        Don't be silly. Tories only eat puppies. It's got to be a UKIP MEP.

    3. druck Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Silly people

      I was going to post vegans should go away and procreate, or a euphemism to that effect, but I'd rather they didn't breed in anyway, think of the poor children denied the delights of a bacon butty.

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Re: Silly people

        You B'stard! I'm on a diet, but the idea of a bacon butty....

        As Oscar Wilde said, "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."*

        OK, it's sizzling now.....(pause...) Search Great British HP sauce...check - OK it's from Holland, but it'll have to do...(pause)

        Nam nam nam....

        (Bacon Butty icon á la Lester Haines required.)

        * Full quote, from the Picture of Dorian Gray:

        “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.”

    4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Silly people

      My cute furry animal brought a really cute litte blue feathered friend home the other day, then killed it , flung it around the living room for 10 mins and then ate it.

    5. Duffy Moon

      Re: Silly people

      What we really should be eating is grey squirrel meat. They're not farmed, so no cruelty (as long as death is as quick and painless as possible). They're nutritious and delicious, there are plenty of them and reducing their numbers might benefit trees and red squirrels (the UK's favourite wild animal).

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Joke

        Re: Silly people

        Caution....may contain nuts. :)

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Has anyone investigate the level of animal products in the paper fivers the vegans have been happily using all these years?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      As a committed anti-royalist...

      I object to certain iconic representations on the bank notes that I have to handle every day ...

      In fact, as a Muslim, whose religion bans the depiction of animals and people because worship of such is idolatrous...

      And, AND...

      As an Apple worshipper, I demand that my banknotes have rounded corners...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, but all those Vegans etc. are holding a Candlelit vigil with tallow candles, whilst washing with tallow based soap, to remove the stain of the new notes off their hands, and making themselves feel better as irony isn't a concept they understand. :)

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Don't at least be stupid

        You might not agree with the Vegan stance (I myself do not), but they are very aware of what goes into things and they would not use tallow candles. They would check first.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Most candles today are made from paraffin, which is petroleum-based. Modern soaps use plant-based oils in their manufacture. Thus the name Palmolive, for example (palm and olive oils).

        1. HereIAmJH

          Please don't use palm oil. It's leading to deforestation and driving the tiger to extinction. Unless, of course, you want to start feeding Vegans (and Politicians) to tigers. Human encroachment on habitats will soon mean the only living large carnivores will be in zoos.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Unless, of course, you want to start feeding Vegans (and Politicians) to tigers.

            Add lawyers and I'm in. When can we start?

            1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
              Happy

              It's already started in USA:

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America

              Well, I can't be positive they were all vegans, and a cougar is the closest we can come to a tiger over here...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                a cougar is the closest we can come to a tiger over here...

                And there I was thinking we were getting somewhere weaning people off sexism..

                No! <slap> It was joke! <wallop>. Aaargh.

                :)

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Most candles today are made from paraffin, which is petroleum-based.

          So this implies that vegans are not environmentalists then?

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        FAIL

        "...as irony isn't a concept they understand. :)"

        And Veganism is a concept you don't understand?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't they size the paper ones using gelatine? Basically run the paper though a bath of hydrolised hides and hooves to bind and seal the fibres.

  9. MJI Silver badge

    parts per million

    So why are they moaning?

    Do they eat the money?

  10. Harry the Bastard

    presumably the outraged are aware that...

    "The polymer in virtually all of the world’s plastic bills is made by a single Australian company, Innovia Security.

    Innovia are the makers of Guardian, a substrate used to manufacture the polymer currency of 24 countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and New Zealand.

    Tallow does not appear to be a stand-alone or critical ingredient in Guardian, but the by-product got into the substrate because it is used in processing by Innovia’s resin suppliers.

    “Polymer substrate used as a base for bank notes contains additives that help with the polymer manufacturing process, similar to many commercially available plastics,” wrote the Bank of Canada in a Wednesday statement after contacting Innovia.

    “Our supplier of polymer substrate, Innovia Security, has confirmed to us that these additives may include extremely small amounts of tallow,” the statement added. "

    ...and...

    "Indeed, small amounts of processed cow parts can be found in everything from [...] to brake fluid. In fact, almost all of the images ever featured on historic Canadian currency would have first been prepared by an artist using tallow as part of the engraving process."

    ...and until their demands are met will cease ride in any vehicle not certified animal free

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: presumably the outraged are aware that...

      There's traces of Olly Murs in our banknotes???!!!!

    2. frank ly

      Re: presumably the outraged are aware that...

      "... will cease ride in any vehicle not certified animal free"

      Does that include a horse drawn carriage? What about a horse with a wood and cotton saddle? It gets complicated doesn't it? :)

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: presumably the outraged are aware that...

      "...any vehicle not certified animal free" (sic)

      He's having a go at Audis now!

  11. John Sanders
    Flame

    Vegetarians/Vegans.

    Many are behaving in ways similar to cult members.

    http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/001/067/240/4e2.jpg

    Idiots.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    The cocaine just slides off these new notes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But maybe the problem is that they don't roll as well as the paper ones.

  13. Martin H Watson

    If the tallow is to reduce static, I'd guess they use it in bank cards for the same reason.

  14. Pinballdave
    Joke

    Less than 100 parts per million you say? Have we accidentally discovered the homeopathic cure to veganism?

  15. Nonny Mouse

    Was the animal slaughtered in alignment with Halal principles? Just curious [and not being sarcastic] - there is a wide and disparate community to think of here. They really should have thought this one through before hand.....

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      halal fivers?

      Apparently, it's fine so long as you're not eating the money. Same thing as leather sofas, which aren't forbidden.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Nonny Mouse

      Good point. The sikhs and Hindus are up in arms about it too.

  16. IsJustabloke
    Megaphone

    In a show of solidarity for our vegan bruvvers an' sistas...

    I have started a program of returning new five pound notes to the bank.

    Please forward all your unwanted new fivers to Just A Bloke care of The Register and I will personally make sure that they are returned to the bank!.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These petitions have obviously become too easy to fill-in because all the idiots are doing it

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lessons from history ...

    It's 1857 all over again.

  19. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    More importantly....

    Could they make them behave more like the old notes? They are a right sod to count in bundles. Slide all over the place and stay bent rather than flattening out. Please add whatever animal products are necessary to improve things (except kittens, obviously)

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

      Re: More importantly....

      If the new UK notes are anything like the Canadian currency I experienced on a recent holiday to Alaska, then I agree with your assertions. PITA, albeit a minor one. The biggest headache for me was the creasing. I normally carry currency bound by a money clip in my front pocket. This necessitates folding said currency in half. Do that with plastic currency like Canadian (and presumably similar British) and you end up with creased bills that, as you pointed out, stay bent and no longer lay flat.

      It's not a huge problem, in the grand scheme of things, but it's mildly annoying and a minor learning curve/inconvenience.

  20. Timmy B Silver badge

    Tree Huggers and Veggies

    I'm a tree hugger (well - I know about trees and stuffs and love the outdoors) and really couldn't be much further from being a veggie.... Just saying...

    1. IsJustabloke
      Trollface

      Re: Tree Huggers and Veggies

      no one wants to hug a veggie ;)

  21. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    'Fessd up. Fair enough.

    When I was working for Nokia - years ago, we made a basestation with integral antennas. One of the stipulation to the antenna manufacturer was that it didn't contain _any_ of a certain chemical. At that time, I was responsible for procurement of the antenna.

    Supplier called me - sheepishly - and said that they actually _do_ use this chemical in a glue, but it was about 1 microgramme per antenna (it hat two). Is it a problem?

    The reason this particular material was banned was that it was highly toxic when burned.

    Did a bit of research (Google being in its infancy then) and I allowed my common sense to prevail. If about 100,000 of these antennas were to catch fire, simultaneously, and a fireman wasn't wearing his/her breathing apparatus, then, yes - (s)he _might_ get cancer in 20 years.

    I decided "Go ahead and make it, folks"

    'Elf and Safty somehow have no reason, sometimes. Bit like some "Religious Vegans" I see in the pub, supping beer clarified by isinglass...

  22. magickmark
    Trollface

    Just a Troll living under a bridge with a comment to make

    Just a couple of points to make from different conversations:

    RE KITTENS

    Personally I like to eat a nice pussy every now and then!

    RE VEGANS AND TRACE AMOUNTS OF TALLOW

    I would expect a lot of vegans are also followers of homeopathy (the two do seem to happen quite often hand in hand) so probably the smaller the amount the trace element (in this case tallow) the stronger the effect of that trace element. So have we just invented the homeopathic fiver?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a Troll living under a bridge with a comment to make

      If homeopathy worked the way it was alleged to work, it would create more homeopaths every time one of them plunged into a swimming pool. Or is that why they add chlorine?

      :)

  23. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Easy solution...

    Switch from cow lard to bacon fat.

    Everybody likes bacon.

    Ah. Don't they...?

    1. IsJustabloke
      Thumb Up

      Re: Easy solution...

      It's true.... everything is improved by the addition of bacon. fact!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fivers are useful

    Vegans are not.

    There, problem solved!

  25. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Dumb problems

    This is even dumber than the "transgender toilet" bullshit in the US.

    This planet is full of animal protein. Deal with it!

  26. Velv Silver badge
    Trollface

    Principles are all very well, that's up to you. Every time someone mentions Vegans and animals we get the same line about them buying plastic shoes instead of leather because of the animals.

    Plastic shoes... Bought with plastic fivers... Plastic...

    Just sayin'

  27. Daedalus Silver badge

    Why have a note anyway?

    1970: a pint of bitter costs between 10p and 20p. The largest circulated coin is 50p.

    2016: a pint costs more than 3 quid.

    Conclusion: obvious.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Why have a note anyway?

      The pint(s) I was drinking last night did not cost more than 3 quid (precisely 3 quid each as it happens).

  28. Allonymous Coward
    Coat

    Which reminds me

    I really must sign that Investigatory Powers Act petition.

    I'll get my coat and leave the outraged veggie masses to it.

    1. agnii

      Re: Which reminds me

      Which reminds me of India 1857, U.K has progressed.

  29. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Have the Vegans been to the supermarket? Had a look in the shelves?

    I fry in lard becuase it is much healthier than even butter. Not to mention the dangreous artificial vegetable oils. Grow up. Humans are omnivores, and even if YOU can live on veggies, many of us can't possibly live on carbs alone. It would make us fatter than a Prescot.

  30. Grubby

    Plant a cow seed for every fiver produced

    That'll shut them up

  31. Jason Hindle

    I normally try to be nice to the vegans

    But even by vegan standards, I think the issue is more than a little overblown. The Unicorn vegan collective, in my neck of the woods, has even had to clarify that they absolutely will take the new five pound note. The really odd thing? They also have vegans in Australia, where they make all their notes the same way! Not so much of a fuss kicked up down under!

  32. Arsey-grump

    Just proves that some people walk around in a permanent state of 'being offended' - aided and abetted by a Grievance Industry looking to make a fortune in the courts. You just couldn't make it up could you!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I signed while wearing leather shoes.

    I choose to wear leather shoes.

    People can't opt out of money.

  34. Richard Scratcher

    "...Killed less than ONE cow"

    A fraction of a cow? I think that needs rounding up... and I don't mean in a cowboy sort of way.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "...Killed less than ONE cow"

      Depends on the cow. There's one at 10 Downing St. which might be a good source of tallow, and the vegans might not complain.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: "...Killed less than ONE cow"

        It seems that there is at least one vegan Tory commentard...

  35. David Pollard

    Oblig XKCD

    https://xkcd.com/1338/

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Oblig XKCD

      That should be "Earth's land Mammals." Ants and termites, to mention just two groups of insects, have total masses somewhere around the total mass of humans. http://www.antweb.org/antblog/2010/10/do-ants-really-have-the-largest-biomass-of-all-species-on-earth-laurie-usa.html. There are also a whole lot of fish out there. And a fair number of birds.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Oblig XKCD

        "And a fair number of birds."

        Nor the nematodes.

  36. Simon Harris Silver badge

    The Royal Mint are going to introduce £25 notes...

    They'll be made from real ponies.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The Royal Mint are going to introduce £25 notes...

      And the £500 notes being introduced next year to cope with the worsening inflation situation will be called the Soylent................. because its made out of people

      Anyway

      I'm offended and so's my wife

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: The Royal Mint are going to introduce £25 notes...

        When the US cottons on to plastic notes, they'll be Soylent Green-backs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Royal Mint are going to introduce £25 notes...

      They'll be made from real ponies.

      I think we've already had a horse meat scandal, so that won't get enough attention in the press. Hmm. Fluffy bunnies? No10's cat? So many choices..

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: The Royal Mint are going to introduce £25 notes...

        Horse meat is jummy!

  37. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Edible?

    Since the £5 notes are not intended to be eaten, would it still be unethical to vegans to harvest fat from animals that have died naturally from old age?

    1. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Edible?

      They did die of old age - too old and they get a bit tough to eat.

      1. Paper

        Re: Edible?

        So you eat money?

  38. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Fat of the land

    I am going to spend my evening rubbing animal fat into a variety of notes in my possession and will then release them into the wild at my nearest vegan wholefood market.

    Bacon fat, butter fat, beef dripping, man fat...

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Fat of the land

      There will be trace amounts of all of those things on them already.

  39. The Vociferous Time Waster

    The thing is

    I only eat animals because they're MADE OUT OF FOOD!

  40. Thoguht Silver badge

    Polymers are made ultimately from petroleum, which is largely made of animals (zooplankton). When I pointed that out to my vegan daughter she replied that it didn't matter because those animals had died of natural causes millions of years ago. So apparently this somehow makes a difference.

    1. Paper

      I was a veggie for a while. Personally I wasn't against eating animals, just the crappy conditions they're kept in, and the effect on the environment yada yada yada. But alas, I got fat on my veggie diet and picked up meat eating again. I guess I could just buy more free range organic if I wanna care.

  41. PNGuinn
    Coat

    Australian you say...

    So it be roo fat then.

    So what's all this guff about half a cow then? New Reg unit?

    Has the Vulture's Southern Correspondent been consulted?

    Can we have a compo to choose the animal to front new unit?

    How about the duck billed platypus? a DBP or dBP if you need a logarith ...

    Oh - sod it - DMcDBP - for Ducky Mc ...

    NURSE!

    Thanks - mine's that nice white one with the slightly odd fastenings. >>

  42. fandom

    Amazing

    It really is.

    Flabbergasting really.

    Over one hundred comments for something that is completely and utterly irrelevant.

    Who would have thought?

    Well, Parkinson I guess.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    dragging out an old favorite for this argument.

    sure I first came across this here on el Reg

    http://www.lloydianaspects.co.uk/opinion/veggie.html

    it's a good list of counter arguments for vegan's and veggies reasons.

    has been useful in a couple of arguments with vegans.

    it generally "gets the none of that is true". but then they can't counter argue because when why google they find it's more or less right.

    AC because i'm not in the mood for the argument today.

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly
      Pint

      Re: dragging out an old favorite for this argument.

      Thank you sir for putting me on to Lloydian book marked for later enjoyment

      It's Friday Have a ground fish swimbladder clarified Pint...

  44. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Be kind to vegans ...

    Some of them contain trace amounts of brain matter.

  45. applebyJedi

    Fewer

    It's FEWER than 1 cow, not less than!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Fewer

      If it had been fewer than two cows then I'd quite agree with you, but I'm not sure that cows are countable when in groups of fewer than one. You wouldn't say fewer than half a cow, for example.

    2. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Fewer

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      Less than 1 cow because cow becomes an uncountable mass rather than countable objects when cow < 1

      Just like you have fewer loaves of bread but less bread if discussing a portion of one loaf.

      And fewer slices of either.

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Fewer

      "It's FEWER than 1 cow, not less than!"

      Fewer than one would be zero.

      Less than one would be something like half a cow.

  46. Robert Moore
    Thumb Up

    Happy to help.

    This is terrible!

    If any vegetarian or vegan feels the need to get rid of these filthy bills. I hereby offer my services. Simply send me the offending bills, and I will see to it that they are disposed of correctly.

    Here is the best part. Out of the goodness of my heart, I will do this at no charge to you.

    I make this offer, because I care.

  47. Paper

    Use roadkill.

    Just use roadkill / euthanised shelter animals.

  48. Haku
    Unhappy

    Problem with materials? No, it's when you fold them the trouble starts

    The fold is almost impossible to flatten out, especially annoying when you've got to feed them into a machine at the Post Office / supermarket etc., and what about the people working on tills? They'll now have to be extra careful the stack of folded fivers don't spring out of the tray.

  49. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    The Guardian...

    ...may be printed using ink which has crushed crustaceans as part of its make-up.

  50. GaryG

    Just how many notes...

    ... the existing old ones, in circulation right at this moment, have been handled by people who've just enjoyed a bacon butty, pork pie, hot beef sandwich or related animal "product"?

    No complaints there?

    Hmm..

  51. Flemnipod

    Get a life.

    I just don't get why vegetarians are up in arms about this. Okay, so they don't eat meat, but how many of them wear leather/suede products? How many have leather furniture? How many eat jelly sweets that contain gelatine? I could go on (and on).

    The vegans I can understand being shouty about it, but then to them it's just another way to tell the world that they're vegan.

    There are far more pressing matters afoot in the world today that people should be shouting about.

    I guess some people just aren't happy unless they're complaining.

    1. Haku

      Re: Get a life.

      Furthermore, how many of the vegans/vegetarians rely on being able to live their life because of things other people do (like keeping the power grid going, road maintainance, phone service etc. etc.) who eat meat?

      Are they eternally angry at the rest of the world who do eat meat so jump at the slightest of chances to proclaim their 'holier than thou' status?

      Psychologically they must be a very fragile crowd.

  52. Kaltern

    animal - ˈanɪm(ə)l/

    noun

    a living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli.

    vegan

    ˈviːɡ(ə)n/

    noun

    a person who does not eat or use animal products.

    Can someone please explain to me where veganism ends and microbial life begins? I fail to see the difference, and thus all vegans (who signed this ridiculous petition) are hypocrites.

  53. Demosthenese

    Soylent Green

    Can't they switch to using all the fat from liposuction? Who could object to that.

  54. joed

    dirty money

    I'm curious how may #s of beef have been paid for with £5 (made of any material). I'm even more curious if any vegetarian refused their pay because of that (I'll take it;)

  55. Milton Silver badge

    Click HERE to be ever so outraged

    My apologies for not wading through 200+ posts, because I daresay my point has already been made a score of times. What I want to know is this: of the 200,000 or more Outraged who signed the petition, what proportion have at least one pair of leather shoes?

  56. JJKing Silver badge
    Coat

    Why tallow?

    But why specifically tallow? Who not something vegetable based like a shortening?

    Because they are making a material to print currency on, not baking a fucking cake!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why tallow?

      You owe me screen wipes!

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Why tallow?

      "Because they are making a material to print currency on, not baking a fucking cake!"

      Which doesn't answer the question. Why tallow and not vegetable shortening? No animals are harmed and it even has a higher melting point.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the fabled war between the hitherto allied factions of veggies and tree-huggers is approaching"

    You owe me a keyboard sir.

    I can already see the movie, something like the blockbuster "Zombie vs Vampire". (I'm assuming there's a flick about that, not that I bothered to look it up.)

    Also agree about that being the very conclusion the year 2016 deserves.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A trace amount of animal fat makes veggie heads (carnophobics) go bonkers.

    They really are a hyper sensitive bunch. A bit too much on edge it seems.

    Hitler who was a bit unhinged went vegetarian later in life. Although the vegetarian part does get disputed. ( being unhinged doesn't )

    This is worth a look :

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466124/

    From the "Conclusions" section of the above link :

    "Rather, our results are more consistent with the view that the experience of a mental disorder increases the probability of choosing a vegetarian diet, or that psychological factors influence both the probability of choosing a vegetarian diet and the probability of developing a mental disorder."

    Finally, when I see veggie heads ranting it does remind me a bit of the character Jack D. Ripper in Dr Strangelove ranting on about "bodily fluids". Maybe that's just me ...

  59. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    On the plus side, now with plastic bills, perhaps one could easily print some money on transparencies?

  60. willi0000000

    huh?

    OK . . . OK . . . just tell the veggies that the tallow was donated by a very public spirited cow after a session of liposuction.

    [ i'm sure that's the kine of story they'll believe ]

  61. Esme

    ROFL

    On the one hand, given (a) the fact that so many things in the world are complex in composition to the point that it's nigh-on impossible to buy anything which is truly free of any trace of animal, (b) as has been pointed out, even stuff that Vegans might approve of will have depended upon ythe labour of meat-eaters at some point due to teh interconnectedness of society, then aye, I agree that uproar about such tiny traces of tallow is downright silly.

    On the other hand, I also note the absurd outrage here by meat-eaters at the fact that some should choose to be vegetarian or vegan. Why should it bother you that somone else chooses to eat differently to you? Does it make your food taste any better or worse? No! And whilst the article referred to above at this link http://www.lloydianaspects.co.uk/opinion/veggie.html is, in my estimation largely correct,

    (a) it ignores things like large chunks of rainforest being chopped down to produce more beef - because it is profitable to doso. That's not good for biodiversity, quite the opposite. (yup. I know - Britain was likely wall-to-wall trees at one point, but aside from that being a whole 'nother argument, the rate of change was nothing like as fast as we can manage these days, which IMO ought to be a factor for consideration) (b) force-feed people lard? Really? What kind of idiot thinks that's a sane way to treat other people or win an argument?! (c) why should you care? If you like meat so much then if some folk eat less meat it's all the more for you, no?

    The best point made regarding vegetarianism being a bad thing was with regard to children and animals being fed diets their bodies can't handle. Definitely something that vegetarians and Vegans need to be aware of - but it;s also a very tricky subject, as it isnt just children fed vegetarian diets that have had problems (eg: kids getting rickets due to an insufficientlyvaried diet).

    You extreme pro-meaties are quite as bad as the extreme vegams IMO, both throwing your toys out of the pram and being a bit selective in your arguments.

    Right, I'm off to eat something I like along with a beverage of my choosing, and I frankly don't give a damn whether anyone disapproves or not.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: ROFL

      "The best point made regarding vegetarianism being a bad thing was with regard to children and animals being fed diets their bodies can't handle. Definitely something that vegetarians and Vegans need to be aware of - but it;s also a very tricky subject, as it isnt just children fed vegetarian diets that have had problems (eg: kids getting rickets due to an insufficientlyvaried diet)."

      I give the simplest argument against veganism in general like this: if man were meant to only eat vegetables, why did we evolve with canines?

  62. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Fine

    Send all unwanted fivers to me...

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bacon flavour

    Got a couple of paper fivers? just dip the corner in the fat left over from frying bacon (so that'll be more than 100 parts per million). Now go spend them at the local veggie cafe.

    Many years ago I worked behind the counter in a bank. We could weigh-in bundles of notes rather than count them. Whenever to local butcher paid in his takings the bundles would be over-weight and we had to manually count. It was invariably correct but blood and even tiny scraps of meat on the notes accounted for overweight. If the veggies want to eliminate all possible contact with dead animals they're just going to have to stop using cash - and in all probability all contact with the rest of human society.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When my 9yo heard about this - she asked "Don't butchers and farmers and people who make kebabs and burgers and things like that touch money? Won't lots of coins coins have tiny bits of animals on them too?"

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a thought...

    Go to a vegan restaurant.

    Order a big meal.

    Offer to pay in new fivers.

    As new fivers are legal tender, if they don't accept them you do not have to offer an alternative and can just walk out. Legal tender MUST be accepted in settlement of a debt (which is why you have to accept a £20 quid note, but not 2000 pennies; one penny is legal tender, over 20 is not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_tender#United_Kingdom )

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Here's a thought...

      Only if a DEBT is in play. Now, for your restaurant situation, that's correct because the bill represents the debt, but a shopkeeper is under no such obligation since he can simply refuse the sale and turn you out; nothing changed hands there, no debt is involved.

  66. sisk Silver badge

    Vegetarians losing their minds? What else is new. You are, after all, talking about folk who will argue with a straight face that the diet we're evolved to survive on - roughly 10-20% meat - is less healthy than whatever they or some charismatic self-proclaimed expert can come up with.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous Cow-herd

    Well, the inventor doesn't seem to know the difference between a vegetarian (who probably wouldn't mind about using animal products), and a vegan (who would). Apparently, in 28 years, it didn't occur to him that including bits of cow in the notes might be a problem to some people, for example those who think cows are sacred. This reduces how much credence I give to his opinion.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Anonymous Cow-herd

      What makes you think that the 'inventor' cares about the opinion of someone who thinks that a few parts per million of dead cow would be sufficient reason to have a cow on the matter? He sells plastic to governments for use as money. That's the end of his involvement. Presumably, should the Indian government think that the Indian public would have a cow on the matter, they won't be buying that plastic. Presumably, there just aren't enough Hindus in Britain (or Australia, or any of the other countries which buy the plastic) for the governments to care, and there are a hell of a lot more Hindus than there are vegans.

      Should the governments in question start to request cowless plastic, then they'd get cowless plastic, no doubt at an increased price to cover the costs of de-cowing it. Once the bill for de-cowing is presented, I suspect that the majority of governments, most especially including the British government, would decline to pay extra for de-cowed plastic unless a significant portion of the electorate screamed loudly enough. A few thousand, or even a few hundred thousand, out of a population of 60 million is not going to be enough.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anonymous Cow-herd

        But what about for a country like India, which (a) has over a billion people by itself, and (b) has a sizable number of Hindus and other people for which the cow is sacred, making the use of beef products of any kind taboo?

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