Thursday, December 01, 2016

Tempest In a Tallow-Pot

"There is a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets used in the base substrate of the polymer 5-pound notes."
Bank of England

"When you consider that beef tallow is a co-product of a cruel and violent industry that kills millions of cows every year and that is one of the largest producers of greenhouse-gas emissions in the world, the decision to use animal fat in the new British five-pound note truly doesn't make sense."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
The new polymer £5 note entered circulation in September.
The new polymer £5 note entered circulation in September. Photograph: WPA Pool/Getty Image

Small beads of tallow are being used in the processing of the Bank of England's new flexible plastic currency notes which were produced as waterproof currency difficult to counterfeit. The five-pound bill bears Sir Winston Churchill's famous visage. And it was detected to contain minute trace elements of animal fat, "a trace of tallow".

More commonly used as an industrial lubricant, found as well in candles, soaps and common household items of other descriptions. As soon as it became widespread knowledge that tallow was being used as a lubricant to help feed the currency smoothly through processing machines, the public responded with comments such as "how sick, unnecessary & prehistoric". Actually, technologically futuristic.

This, when most of the world's population consumes, or would love to be able to eat, animal flesh as a priority on the dinner table, providing humans with a rich source of protein, iron and vital vitamins for optimum health. Needless to say when such huge numbers of unfortunate beasties are being slaughtered and prepared for human consumption, an end-product not to be wasted is fat or tallow.

The incoherent note by PETA makes little sense in mentioning the "largest producers of greenhouse-gas emissions" partnered with its criticism of the Bank's five-pound note, since it is not the manufacture of the currency that produces emissions, but the cattle themselves that do, releasing through their gas belching and farting, the enormous green-house gas emissions they are famous for.

But a petition has been started on the Internet site Change.org to convince the Bank it should desist with the use of animal products in its currency, a petition that has gained tens of thousands of signatures. There is a bit of a hiccup here in that the Bank of England has printed 440 million new five-pound notes already in circulation as it phases out cotton paper currency.

But of course at any such time that the Bank decides to print additional currency it can handily substitute tallow derived from animal fat for a like material derived from cocoa butter and other vegetable-sourced oil products.

Cool.Down.Folks!

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