You may have heard that the introduction of a new polymer £5 note in the UK has been causing consternation amongst some vegetarians and vegans because it contains traces of a meat by-product called tallow, a rendered beef fat that can also be found in candles and soap.
Well, one cafe owner has gone a step further and is refusing to accept the new note, which was introduced into circulation barely three months ago, as payment, according to The Guardian.
Sharon Meijland, who has run the vegetarian Rainbow cafe in Cambridge, England for three decades, says that she has received a barrage of online abuse for the decision, but that “We [the staff] all said we all felt very uneasy about handling it. We thought the only way round this is to just not accept them.”
Some have been quick to point out however that the cafe, which has been nominated for several awards, including Best Ethical Restaurant at The Observer Food Monthly Awards, offers a menu that contains animal products.
An online petition calling for the Bank of England to replace the notes deemed “unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK” with a tallow-free alternative has so far reached over 130,000 signatures. However, the notes' creators have argued that the amounts are trivial and replacements are unnecessary. The Bank of England is currently looking into how to resolve the situation.
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