Peter Rhodes on killer lentils, protecting sources and the lockdown joy of small weddings

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

The Animal Rebellion blockade
The Animal Rebellion blockade

Members of Animal Rebellion blockaded four McDonald's distribution centres at the weekend in a campaign to bring about “transition to a just and sustainable plant-based food system". It wants McDonald's to commit to being “fully plant-based by 2025.”

The activists probably have history on their side, at least in the West where veggie and vegan customers already have enough financial clout to force restaurants and pie shops to offer plant-based alternatives to fish, fowl and flesh.

It is not a perfect revolution; hard-line vegans rage at plant-based food being made to look like bloody old bangers and burgers. And while a plant-based diet may sound sweet and gentle, it actually means clearing land, ploughing the soil, destroying habitat, planting crops and, inevitably, killing animals.

Whatever we eat, whether beefsteak or lentils, it will never be possible for a hugely successful species like humans to share this planet in a “just and sustainable” way with the rest of the animal kingdom. We are hungry. We are pushy. Above all, we are 7.5 billion.

From the journalists' website Hold The Front Page comes the curious tale of a councillor whose first act on gaining power in the recent elections was to “demand” that a journalist, who reported his success before the official announcement, should reveal her sources.

No, it doesn't work like that. And it's a tad surprising that anyone could enter politics without knowing that journalists do not reveal their sources.

And if councillors or MPs don't like the rules, they should consider the words of a famous Tory: “For a politician to complain about the press is like a ship's captain complaining about the sea.”

Unfortunately those words are hardly remembered, possibly because the famous Tory in question is known only for one speech (blood, rivers, etc) which pretty much obliterated everything else he had to say. Enoch Powell.

“Big Weddings are Back, declare the headlines, in the belief that on June 21 the current restriction to 30 guests will be relaxed. How much sympathy should we feel for those poor souls who married during lockdown and were forced, under the Covid rules, to have tiny ceremonies, inviting only their closest friends?

A design-shop owner Eleanor Tattersfield sent out postcards asking people to reveal their lockdown secrets in strict confidence. One newly-wed couple revealed their secret message to an unnamed acquaintance would be: “We got married in lockdown so we wouldn't have to invite you.”

And I bet they weren't the only ones who were delighted to lop a few dozen possibles off their wedding list. When it comes to weddings, big may be fashionable but small can be beautiful.

Our changing language. If you're called “cheugy” (pronounced chew-gee) by some whippersnapper, it means you are considered out of date and the opposite of trendy. In other words, someone who reads all the way to the bottom of this column.

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