Other Vegan Views articles
Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 79 (Spring 98)

Our new government has been in power for a year and animal rights supporters who thought there would by now be some laws enacted to lessen the injustice and agony humans inflict of animals are bitterly disappointed. Looking back, it seems obvious that it could never be that easy. The alarmed reaction to the government's ban on 'beef on the bone', intended as protection against BSE, shows how difficult it can be to challenge rooted traditions.

The organised demonstration in London by the Countryside Alliance, shows that vested interests are ready and able to influence the government (and the will of the majority) and oppose the kind of legislation that vegans are looking for. That London demo was clearly intended to influence the private Member's Bill aimed at banning fox hunting, although most people were there for different reasons.

It seems the government has other serious legislation in mind and is avoiding the more controversial issues. Food Safety is another issue against which vested interests, who benefit by controlling the food people eat are working. They want to control how food is produced and how much they tell you about what is in our food. The least we can do at the moment is campaign for complete information on labels, source out organic produce and grow our own where possible.

All is not gloom. There are still many consumers who question what is in their food and who want proper labelling and better food. One school tried persuading children to eat fresh fruit and veg. Children did take to it and can prefer it to the fatty, sugary, salty food which TV ads make them think is the norm.

We have to maintain the pressure on government to ensure that election promises are kept.

Spring has made a disappointing start but Nature still brings out its blossom so veganism too will blossom in spite of slow progress. Keep smiling.