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Washed Up - Stop hijacking our months for guilt trips over lifestyles

College of West Anglia Staff who have been part of the "Movember" challenge of Moustache growing.''Nick Bartlett (left) and Neil Stapleton (right)
College of West Anglia Staff who have been part of the "Movember" challenge of Moustache growing.''Nick Bartlett (left) and Neil Stapleton (right)

We have just left the meat and dairy-free month of Vegan-anuary and we are about to enter dairy-free-ebuary.

Fixed in dates in our calendar now include dry October and hairy Mo-vember.

Eight months are left unclaimed at the moment but I have no doubt that pretty soon we will be enjoying a mammal-free March, an Avocado-free April and a marmite-sandwich-a-day May.

When Dry October started I felt a frisson of guilt. Should I give up alcohol for a month? Could I? Well the short answer was ‘no’. I have too many friends with birthdays in October and I wasn’t going to be the one to be sipping water while all around me enjoyed champagne.

Mo-vember doesn’t bother me. It is for a good cause and it allows fellas to let loose their inner Grizzly Adams.

The people I feel sorry for are a) those men whose beard growth is so slow that they are forever apologising for the wispy bum fluff on their chins and b) wives and girlfriends who have to live with it.

My real bone of contention is with the food police. I get that some people want to eschew all things to do with animals. I understand that they might choose to do this for health or moral reasons.

The key word here is ‘choose’. I would never suggest we adopt a month when everyone must start their day with a tasty bacon sandwich, follow it up with a juicy burger for lunch and then have fish and chips for supper.

I would never prey on people’s conscience with videos showing a cattle farmer being slowly driven towards bankruptcy as the meat market collapsed. I would never suggest that were it not for the farmers rearing sheep, pigs and cattle, then we would have no animals in our fields.

I would never suggest that a vast number of people, who cannot afford trendy protein replacements, should not buy and eat meat from the supermarket or butcher.

What we should all be promoting is well reared animals that are humanely treated from birth until death. Our lifestyle choices are in our hands and I am getting a little tired of our months getting hi-jacked by well-meaning groups who seek to make us feel guilty for our choices.


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