Extinction Rebellion has been more than a little economical with the truth, serving up double whoppers with fries to anyone who will listen
London is now culturally another planet as far as this backwoodsman is concerned. Two lots of space cadets were there doing their level best to end life on planet Galloway: our elected representatives in the House of Commons and a bunch of misanthropes calling themselves Extinction Rebellion.
I should have thought if anyone had the right to rebel about extinctions it would be farmers driven out of business by badger-borne tuberculosis, keepers and shepherds being laid off in the hills as estates bow to market pressure and plant forestry, and keen young huntsmen robbed of their futures by the Axis of Spite.
We were there as finalists in the Hidden Gem category of the eviivo B&B awards. I say ‘we’ but really my wife does all the hard graft, though I was happy to share in the glory. We didn’t win but it was a great night swapping anecdotes with other breakfast chefs from across the UK.
Checking out Extinction Rebellion
While there, I briefly considered going to observe proceedings in the House of Commons, but decided my blood pressure couldn’t take it so went to check out Extinction Rebellion instead. Having what socialists call a vested interest in the survival of British livestock farming, I was anxious to see the vegan revolution at first hand.
George Monbiot, the Citizen Smith of our time, had just blockaded Smithfield Market and announced that British farmers were all going to give up producing meat and have a wonderful future growing vegetables. I don’t suppose George ever ventures out of his ivory tower but if he did he would discover there are even parts of the Cotswolds where that isn’t possible.
I found them in Trafalgar Square. It brought back happy memories of the Countryside March when our rumbustious throng of rustic dissidents entered the square, a blue-grey flock lifted off Nelson’s Column and some wag shouted ‘Pigeon!’
And we all looked skyward and shared a cultural moment. I don’t know what Nelson would have made of the dreary bunch of hippies sitting on the steps outside the National Gallery with their placards, all 70 of them, watched by 72 bored-looking policemen, who had been bussed in from Kent at our expense.
They all looked very anaemic — the protesters, not the policemen — as might be expected of vegans. Apart from an eccentric fellow with a banner proclaiming: “When they circumcised Trump they threw away the good bit.” Obviously a Democrat then. A sad-looking woman cowered behind a large placard that read ‘This feels like a dictatorship’.
I looked around the square at happy tourists of every creed and colour, at children climbing on the lions and at the random collection of ‘environmentalists’ being humoured by the avuncular arm of the law and asked: “Really? Do you really think so?”
It’s always a mistake to get into conversation with single-issue fanatics. Soon I was being proselytized by a woman who assaulted me with falsehoods: “Do you know, eating four beefburgers is the same as flying to New York and back? Four burgers!”
Another one pitched in with the interesting but entirely erroneous factoid that it takes 16,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of beef. If that were true we would all be investing in cattle in Britain to soak up the flood waters. But it was what you might call a double whopper with fries.
I headed back to Galloway a sadder but not much wiser man. Our world is under threat. If rising sea levels don’t get us, the vegan thought police will. Happily, if Extinction Rebellion has achieved anything, it has galvanised the scientific community into looking more closely at the myths surrounding methane from cows and exposing the fake science.
I urge readers to go on YouTube and look at a series of seven short Cows and climate videos produced by GHGGuru, aka Dr Frank Mitloehner of California. Then when some moron tells you that being an omnivore threatens the planet, you can put them right with all the facts at your disposal. I wish I had.